The summer is around the corner and many dog owners and their furry friends will decide on an adventurous day at the beach. With the excitement of the waves, birds running on the sand, and people and dogs everywhere, what could man’s best friend not love about this place?
The beach can bring a lot of fun and exciting things to dog. To be able to run limitless, dig in the sand, and chase strange creatures into holes, a dog can easily find themselves, along with their master, in a world of paradise.
Common Hazards for Dogs on Beaches
As you may have already experienced one or twice in your own life, the beach can also be equally hazardous. For humans, we know that drinking the sea water is bad. We also know that sharp shells hurt, litter can be hazardous, and we know most importantly that the sun can have severe effects on us.
Dogs can be equally vulnerable to the beach and face even more hazards. Enjoying the day at the beach with your BFF (Best Furry Friend) can be an amazing memory if you take the time to be responsible for the both of you.
Understanding their dangers as much as your own, will help you make the most of the happy days that the two of you spend on the beach.
The following list informs some of the most overlooked hazards a dog may face when enjoying the beach. Knowing these risks and preparing should be a priority in your pre trip planning.
1-To Go or Not to Go? That is Lassies Question
When you think about the question, Is It Safe For Dogs To Swim In The Ocean? One of the first things to consider when planning to take your dog to the beach is; Will my Dog even like the beach. If your dog is naturally nervous around new people, places, or other animals the local beach may not be the place.
A more private section of the beach would be ideal for a pet with this mentality. Plan a time to take your buddy for a short period of time to let them experience the smells, tastes, and sounds. This brief preview will give you a good indication of whether a full day should even be considered.
2-Is it Safe for My Dog to Go in The Water?
Most dogs I have seen or taken to the beach immediately dart straight for the tidal pools. As fun as it has always looked, I’ve never really wondered is it safe for dogs to swim in the ocean? When it comes to us swimming in the ocean, we know that predators lurk but usually avoid humans.
We also know salt water will dehydrate us. These same cautions should be monitored for your dog as well. As they run and jump, they will naturally get thirsty. Just like in humans, the salt will dehydrate them. As they run, they will ingest small amounts of splash that fly into their mouth.
Sand can also find its way into your dog’s system this way. The sand then settles in the intestines and worsen the condition. Other less visible problems are the algae, bacteria, or other present toxins that can also be ingested.
The hazards for swimming luckily can be managed for your loyal pal and thus the answer would be yes, your dog can be safe swimming in the water if these issues are managed.
Bringing efficient amounts of fresh water to keep your dog hydrated will prevent them from wanting to drink the salt water. Avoiding the salt water significantly decreases the amount of splash and sand impact. When it comes to predators in the ocean, nature can never be predictable.
Just as with human family or friends, an observant eye on your pet, as well as being aware of currents, will allow your favorite beach partner a safe and exhilarating time.
We have all seen videos of dogs surfing or watched people throw rubber toys out into the ocean for a game of fetch. It’s always obvious that the dog is having the time of their life.
While the surf can be a place full of joy, to a dog it can also become dangerous. Careful observation should be made to notice how rough or choppy the water is, and if there are any present riptides.
While many dogs are natural born swimmers, big waves can take them under water. So, we recommend ensuring that all dogs big and small wear a dog life jacket to ensure they are safe in the water.
Rough waters may also make it very intense to swim all the way to shore. Riptides are also known to take control of pets just as it does humans.
One of the best ways to protect your favorite beach goer is to set up near a lifeguard station. Lifeguards will have legends explaining the current water conditions, giving you an informed decision on the safety of the waves.
Should you decide that is safe for your dog to swim, a riptide may still be invisible to notice. If your pet gets caught in a riptide, it is important never to attempt to save them as this puts you in great harm.
Being close to a lifeguard sets you up ahead of time for an emergency should your pet find its way into danger. They are trained to rescue people as well as pets.
4-Dog Vs. Nature
Swimming in the ocean can not only be exciting for your pet but also exhausting. The ocean provides cool water to swim in and new adventures to partake for dogs.
Lurking under the surface however, are many more lifeforms than just your pet and they are not all friendly. This is why so many people ask Is It Safe For Dogs To Swim In The Ocean? Sharks are notorious for biting anything that moves if they are provoked. They are also natural hunters. A dog of any size would make a nice treat to any shark, right?
Maybe, maybe not; we will get to that. Still there is other life, such as sea urchins, that sit in walkable water posing poison or infection risks. Stingrays can also cause painful stings if a dog accidentally runs over the top of one.
The presence of red tide should always be a sign to leave immediately but it can have severe effects on your dog as well. Foam or fish can be fatal if they get ingested and the pores produce respiratory toxins that can cause seizures, loss of balance or eyesight, or even confusion.
As stated, red tide zones are always a no-go area for your dog to swim. As for the other animals mentioned, if your dog loves to run through the water, check the beach extremely well prior to releasing your dog from the leash [do not release on a public beach].
As for the sharks, currently attacks on humans are in the single digits per year. These numbers are even less for dogs. The television program “MythBusters” conducted a test that disproved a myth claiming sharks were attracted to dogs. Using a robotic dog that smelled like a puppy, they observed sharks were indeed curious of the dog, but no more than any other foreign object in the ocean.
An animal behaviorist specialist claimed that while the sound of dogs swimming or playing mimic that of prey that shark hunt, humans make far louder noise and patterns that would more effectively attract the shark. Compared to the ferocious predator, a greater threat to the dog would be something out of the water…dry sand.
5-Pawprints and Shade Tents
When it comes to enjoying the beach, most rules for dogs are synonymous to humans. When the temperatures soar during summer days, the sand becomes very hot.
If your asking, Is It Safe For Dogs To Swim In The Ocean? it is good to note that the water is not the only threat to your pets when out in the heat. For one, The padding on a dog’s paws are very sensitive and can be damaged by the heat just as our feet can. In addition to the sand, the sun too can harm your dog’s skin. If left exposed for too long, they can develop sunburn too.
A simple solution to protect your dog and allow them to have fun at the same time is to bring a small tent. Providing shade will give your pooch a place to rest and benefit from shade.
Setting the tent up close to tide line adds more benefit by keeping the padded paws near wet cooler sand when in the sun. The shade in the tent is also a great place to keep the fresh water cool.
6-Just Another Day with Your Dog
Enjoying the day at the beach with your dog comes with all the responsibilities that any responsible pet owner uses in any outing or trip. Ultimately the greatest hazard is the pet themselves.
In uncontained excitement to see new things and just not being human in a human world, dogs find themselves in messes all the time. Proper pet owner etiquette should be used at the beach as any other public place.
Always watch for dangerous items that your dog may step on or try to eat. Respect local leash laws and remember as awful as the truth is, some people don’t like dogs. Do not expect everyone to be elated if your dog freely runs up them.
Also, clean the droppings left behind as the beach is a place of fun, not landmine dodging. Finally, remember to always properly rinse your dogs when leaving to remove any sand or salt stuck to their fur to avoid bringing home germs.
Have Fun! As we conclude, we see it’s fine to enjoy a day at the beach with your four-legged friend. We also learned it is safe for your dog to swim in the ocean. Responsible pet care planning and alertness are all that is required to make the best of the next beach trip.
For extended hours at the beach, monitor your dog’s breathing and keep checking to see they are ok. Fatigue in the hot sun can be more dangerous than any of the hazards mentioned in this article.