The Hampshire Vet’s Guide to a Worry-Free Beach Day with Your Dog

June 14, 2024

Summer is all about having fun in the sun, rolling in the sand, and splashing in the sea – especially when your dog is in tow! To ensure your best friend stays safe at the seaside, The Hampshire Vet is sharing 10 tips for a worry-free beach day below.

We would love to see your dog having fun at the beach this summer – do share your photos & videos on our Facebook page!

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Sun, Sand, Sea and Safety!

At The Hampshire Vet, we are not here to rain on your parade, but as vets, we know a bit of sun-smart planning can make all the difference for a safe and sunny summer with your canine companion. So, before you pack the doggy inflatables, let’s talk about…

  • If it’s very hot, consider leaving your dog to relax in a cool spot at home.
  • For really young, old, unwell or excessively hairy dogs, a day in the heat may not be ideal.
  • On long days out and holidays with your dog, factor in time out of the sun together.
  • Try scheduling beach outings during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late afternoon.

Ready to hit the beach? Here are some tail-wagging tips from our dog-loving Vet, Jamie Cole:

Our Top 10 Tips

  1. Sun Protection & Shade: Consider lightweight, UV-protective gear and dog-safe sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Set up camp in shaded areas to shield your pet from the sun’s rays.
  2. Vet Jamie Cole, advises dog owners to be aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs which include excessive panting, drooling, restlessness, red gums/tongue, lethargy, vomiting & diarrhoea. If your dog is struggling, take them out of the heat, wet their fur with cool water, encourage drinking and get prompt vet advice.

  3. Watch Those Waves: Assess water conditions before letting your dog take a dip. Stick to calmer waters and keep a close eye on them while they paddle.
  4. Prevent Saltwater Intake: Discourage your dog from drinking saltwater, as excessive consumption can lead to health issues. Ball games in the sea can result in dogs gulping saltwater.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink and offer regular hydration breaks. A collapsible water bowl is a convenient accessory for beach outings. Jamie’s top tip for spotting dehydration in dogs is to pull up a pinch of skin and let it drop. If it doesn’t go back to normal right away, your dog is likely dehydrated.
  6. Protect Those Paws: Sand and hot surfaces can scorch sensitive paw pads. Consider dog booties or visit the beach during cooler times of the day.
  7. Watch Out for Hazards: Keep an eye out for sharp debris that could harm your dog’s paws. Take a stroll along the shore to ensure the area is safe before letting your dog off-leash.
  8. Sand Safety for Dogs: Keep an eye on your dog to ensure they’re not ingesting sand, which can lead to digestive issues or blockages – rinse off sandy paws after beach play. Sand in the eyes can cause problems too so wipe it away with a damp tissue if it’s irritating your dog.
  9. Know Your Dog’s Limits: Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Recognise your dog’s comfort level and never force them into water if they seem anxious or tired.
  10. Practice Proper Beach Etiquette: Good manners make for a happier beach experience for all i.e. abiding by local beach restrictions, cleaning up after your dog, and being mindful of other beachgoers and their pets.
  11. Rinse & Repeat: After a day of beach fun, Jamie recommends rinsing off your dog with fresh water to remove salt and sand. Pay extra attention to their paws, ears and underbelly to prevent irritation.

By following these simple tips, you and your dog can enjoy a safe and fun-filled day at the beach. So, lather on that sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to make unforgettable memories together!

Share photos & videos of your dog having fun at the beach and make our team’s day!

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