Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Taking your dog to the beach can be a great way to spend a beautiful summer day. However, as a responsible dog owner there are certain precautions you should take:
Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for your dog.
Dogs can get sunburn, especially short-haired dogs and ones with pink skin and white hair. Limit your dog's exposure when the sun is unusually strong, and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.
Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions – dogs are easy targets for jellyfish and sea lice.
If your dog is out of shape, don't encourage him to run on the sand. Running on a beach is strenuous exercise, and a dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament.
Cool ocean water is tempting to your dog. Do not allow him to drink too much seawater. The salt in the water will make him sick.
Salt and other minerals found in the ocean can damage your dog's coat. So, when you are ready to leave for the day, rinse him off with fresh water.
Not all beaches permit dogs. Check local ordinances before you begin your excursion to the beach.
Does Your Doggy Paddle?
The majority of dogs can swim and they love it. But dogs entering the water for the first time should be tested. Here are some important tips for teaching your dog how to swim:
Never throw your dog into the water.
Start in shallow water, and call your dog's name. You can also try to coax him in with a treat or toy – but always keep your dog within reach.
Another way to introduce your dog to the water is with a dog that already swims and is friendly with your dog. Let your dog follow his friend.
If your dog begins to doggy-paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and will then keep his back end up.
Swimming is a great form of exercise, but don't let your dog overdo it. He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers.
Never leave your dog unattended! You should always be in a position to help him get out of the water.