7 Tips For a Successful Trip To The Dog Beach
If you have access to a local dog beach, this can be an amazing way to exercise your dog, while also catching some rays and allowing your dog to socialize. Win-win!
Whether it’s your pup’s first trip to the dog beach and you want to be prepared, or you want to make your trips to the dog beach less stressful, we’ll go over everything you need to know in order to be well-prepared and make your dog beach escapade as smooth as possible.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: the dog beach is NOT the beach. It is not ANYTHING close to the experience of going to the beach for pleasure.
If you truly pay attention to your dog, you will not be able to lay out and relax, so don’t expect it to be calm and peaceful.
The truth is, the dog beach can be a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming and crazy. Remember that you’re doing this for your dog, and it will be an absolute blast for him or her!
Here are 7 guidelines to help you on your dog beach adventure:
1. Bring LOTS of water for your pup!
This is extremely important for two reasons:
a. It is very important for your dog to stay hydrated ESPECIALLY when he’s running around playing in the heat.
b. If you do not provide your dog with fresh water, he will drink the ocean water. You definitely do not want this. Salt water can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration in dogs.
2. Leave the dog food at home
I have seen people bring dog food to the beach, worried that their pup will get hungry.
Keep in mind that you are not going to be at the dog beach the entire day, so your pup will be OK if he eats lunch a couple hours later
That point aside, you should never feed your dog right before exercising him. This can end up in him throwing up his food.
Also, you will have a swarm of dogs surrounding you. All the dogs will want to be your best friend of course when you have the food. Some dogs can be food aggressive, you never know, so it’s best to just not have any food around to prevent any issues.
3. Be aware of the heat
It is very easy for dogs to overheat, so be extremely aware of this. Don’t bring your dog to the beach on the hottest day of the summer.
Mornings and nights when it is not so hot are better times to bring your pup. Just remember that they are going to the beach with a winter coat on—if you are too hot, your dog is definitely too hot.
4. Be cautious of other dogs
One of the biggest issues I have come across at dog beaches and dog parks is not worrying about my own dogs as much, but worrying about other people’s dogs.
Some people decide to bring dogs to the dog beach that really aren’t meant to socialize with other dogs, especially in big groups with off leash freedom.
Everyone wants their dog to be a dog beach and dog park dog, but the truth is that not every dog is!
Be watchful when your dog is playing with other dogs. Sometimes, dogs just get too excited and overwhelmed that their play needs to stopped.
With all of the off-leash freedom, it is important to just be aware of how the other dogs are acting towards your dog as well.
If your dog’s social behavior is like what I have just described above, and he gets too excited and overwhelmed around other dogs (such as where he just snaps sometimes), your dog should not be going to the beach.
It’s not to say that your dog will never be able to go to the dog beach, but the dog beach is just not the place to work through this issue.
You need to work on this in a more low-key, controlled setting where you can control and monitor your dog’s stimuli.
For more information on how to correct behaviors of reactive dogs, check out the “Solving Behavioral Problems” section in “The Puppy Training Handbook” for detailed strategies on how to address these types of issues.
5. Listen to your vet!
PLEASE take your vet’s advice on not bring your puppy to the dog beach until he is fully vaccinated!
I know that you are probably so excited to take your puppy places (and show everyone how cute he is), but trust me, your vet is absolutely right about this one.
It is NOT worth taking your puppy before he is fully vaccinated and having him contract something. Just be patient and wait until it is safe for your puppy!
6. Prepare for sand fleas
Sand fleas or beach fleas are the MOST dangerous type of fleas. They are rice grain-sized fleas that come from the sand and feed on your dog’s blood.
Make sure your dog has received a flea treatment preventative before you take him to the dog beach.
7. Don't forget your toys!
Finally, don't forget to bring some toys that your dog loves!
Whether it be a ball launcher, frisbee, or another waterproof toy, beach toys are incredibly useful tools to help you exert your dog's energy in a way that is fun for you both!
My dog goes absolutely crazy for the Chuckit! Ball Launcher. All of the Chuckit! toys are so much fun for dogs to fetch.