Beach Day Essentials for Dogs: Packing for a Pawsome Day at the Shore 

Beach Day Essentials for Dogs: Packing for a Pawsome Day at the Shore 

You and your dog are heading for sand, fun and sun! Before you go you’ll need to plan for a few things and pack the essentials that will make your day at the beach fantastic for you and your canine! 

Some real quick reminders, first check the area you’ll be taking your dog to and verify that it is a “dog friendly” beach. You’ll also want to limit the amount of time your dog spends in the sun throughout the day. They can easily overheat especially if they have a thicker coat. Sunburn can happen on the nose and ears as well as other exposed skin. So, if you’re using a dog approved sunscreen make sure to apply it at least thirty minutes before going out. Please read and follow all manufacturer instructions. 

Taking into consideration your dog’s overall physical abilities and body condition will determine just how active you can be with them. If they are overweight or older, take it easy with exercise on the sand. However, being in the water creates less drag so getting them in the water is a great alternative. Using a quality dog float vest will help them to not tire too easily and provide an easy way to quickly grab them should the need arise. 

To help your dog stay cool all day long check out these terrific cooling vests and bandanas. By wetting these down and placing them on your pet the evaporative effect helps to maintain a proper body temperature while out in the sun. Just remember that your eyes should be on your dog at all times in and around the water. 

Having a variety of fun beach toys that will entertain your dog and allow the two of you to have a great time playing together will guarantee a fun day! Check in with the lifeguard on duty for any reports of jellyfish, undertow or any other concerns with the surf before you let your dog go into the water. 

Bring a few leashes, a harness or collar, a water bowl and fresh water along with snacks and their regular food. You can offer them watermelon slices, apples (without the seeds), blueberries, and cantaloupe to aid in their hydration needs. Have their current tags or a GPS tracker on their collar. If they have a microchip be sure that you check or update your currentcontact information. Keep the phone numbers and addresses of veterinarians for the local area in a water-tight bag for emergencies. 

Bringing a well-supplied first aid kit that is human and dog-friendly is always a good idea. You can make your own or purchase one online. Don’t forget any medications your pet may require while you are gone all day. Be sure to have plenty of poop bags to pick up after your pooch as well as a sturdy bag to place it in until you can get to a trash receptacle that takes dog waste. 

Lay an old sheet over the back seat or cargo area to soak up moisture and provide a barrier to sand and debris. You can bring towels from home or get towels designed to wick up the water after swimming, or after giving them a quick rinse off at a cleaning station. Baby oil will safely remove tar from their pads and a small bottle of shampoo can loosen sand and debris from the skin and coat. Doggie wet wipes could be substituted for the shampoo as well. Don’t forget to check and dry his or her ears! 

Providing shade for your dog is easily just as important as the sunscreen, fresh water and all of the other amenities you’ll be bringing for your dog. Having an easy-to-set-up shade so your pup can relax and recharge before going back into the water is essential. 

Don’t forget to pack the dog paw wax  that will coat your pup’s tender feet, and help to prevent burns from hot concrete and abrasive sand on the tender pads. 

There is no limit to the ways you can have fun at the beach. Obviously swimming with your dog is one of the best ways to have a great time while at the shore. Walking or jogging is another option. Throwing a toy, ball or frisbee will keep the fun going. Be aware of what could be in the sand, things like broken bottles or sharp shells can cause abrasions and cuts to their paws. Offer your dog plenty of fresh cool water in order to lessen their need to lap up salty sea water. Too much of the “sea” can cause intestinal upset. In bodies of fresh water, you’ll want to do the same as parasites can be ingested when they drink the pond or lake water. 

Remember to maintain excellent beach etiquette so that everyone can enjoy their day at the beach with their own dogs and other family members. Watch for other dogs and how your dog reacts to them and be ready to call them back to you if needed. With a little pre-planning, you can have a “pawsitively” perfect day at the beach with your best friend!