Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach

Who doesn’t enjoy a fun beach day? Your dog probably likes it as much as you and your family do! If you’re bringing your canine cohort along on your next shore visit, remember these safety tips from a Tampa vet:

Check Beach Rules

Before bringing your dog to your beach of choice, make sure he’s welcome there. Not all beaches allow pets on them, and some may have specific zones where pets can play and others where they can’t. Remember to bring clean-up bags to pick up after your dog as well—it’s not only rude to leave waste lying there, it may be against the law!

Identify Your Dog

Make sure your dog is wearing up-to-date ID tags around his collar, has a microchip with your contact information implanted under the skin, or both. In the event that your dog gets lost or separated from your family during your beach day, the best way to get him back quickly and efficiently is to have him properly identified. Check with your vet if you need to get your dog’s identification updated.

Swim Safely

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all dogs are great swimmers. While the athletic retriever breeds are naturally better in the water, some dogs—especially stout, short-legged breeds—may not be strong swimmers at all! Always keep an eye on your dog when he’s exploring the waves, and go in with him to offer support if needed. Never let a dog venture too far out into the ocean.

Protect Against Sun

Dogs can get sunburnt, too! Set up a beach umbrella so you and your dog have a shady spot to cool off under. Remember to pack a bottled water just for your dog—you don’t want him sipping too much salty ocean water. Also consider using a sunscreen formulated especially for dogs to protect exposed areas of skin.

Rinse Coat Out

Once you’ve left the beach, remember to rinse your dog’s coat out thoroughly with fresh water from a hose or in a bathtub. Leaving salt water and sand in the fur will irritate the skin. Dry your pooch with a large soft towel.

These aren’t the only great safety precautions to be aware of before heading out on your next beach trip—ask your Tampa veterinarian for more!

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