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Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Venturing to the beach this summer? It sure can be a lot of fun to bring your canine companion along. Here, your Orangevale, CA veterinarian offers a few key tips for taking your dog to the beach.

Take Note of Beach Rules

Before heading to the shore, do a little research to find out about the beach rules. Remember, not all beaches allow pets! You may also be required to keep your pooch on a leash at all times. It’s common courtesy to pick up after your dog as well—be sure to bring along a few plastic baggies to dispose of your dog’s waste properly.

Avoid Dehydration and Heatstroke

Since your dog will be spending a lot of time out in the hot sun, it’s essential to prevent dehydration and heatstroke. Bring along a thermos of cool, fresh water just for your dog, and offer sips from it regularly. Set up a beach umbrella to provide shade, and consider applying a canine-specific sunscreen to areas of exposed skin on your dog, like the nose tip or ear edges. Your vet can recommend a pet-safe sunscreen that will work for your animal companion.

The initial signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, drooling, uncoordinated movements, and lethargy. If you think your dog might need help, don’t hesitate—rush your dog to a cooler area, then call ahead to your veterinarian’s office while bringing your dog in for an examination.

Water Safety

First of all, never let your dog drink ocean water. The salt will irritate your pooch’s mouth and stomach and only serve to make him thirstier.

When your dog decides to go swimming, be sure to tag along to lend a supporting hand. Even dogs who are strong, experienced swimmers may be taken off guard by the ocean’s waves and currents. Never venture too far out; it’s best to stick to the shallows when swimming in the ocean with your dog.

Rinse Your Dog’s Coat

Salt water and sand will irritate your dog’s skin if left in the coat. To avoid this, always rinse your dog’s fur with fresh water after your beach day is over. Many beaches have rinsing stations set up, and you can also use an outdoor hose or the tub in the bathroom.

Would you like more helpful tips on bringing your canine companion to the beach this summer? Call your Orangevale, CA veterinarian’s office today.

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