Going to the beach is a summer rite of passage, it’s just not summer without at least one trip to the beach. Hey, living in Florida has its advantages, right? However taking your dog to the beach can be a whole other ball of wax. In your mind you picture sun, sand, waves and games with your dog while you decompress from the hectic real world. Yet, it doesn’t always turn out that way, there are often hidden dangers and stressors that may turn your picturesque plan to a not so happy day on the beach.

Dogs need sunscreen too

If you’re planning to spend all day in the sun there’s no way you’d forget your sunscreen. Did you know dogs can get sunburned too? Apply sunscreen made for dogs or even sensitive baby sunscreen (make sure there is no zinc) to their ears, nose, under belly and groin. If they have short or shaved hair, you may want to put a light coat all over.

Protect their paws from the hot sand

Have you ever kicked your sandals off only to find burning sand scorching your feet? Well, even though it’s often overlooked, it’s really no surprise your dog can feel it too. Before you head out put some paw protecting wax, like Musher’s Secret, on their feet to save them from the sand burn.  

Safety in and around the water

Some dogs love to swim, others not so much. If you’re dog is new to the beach introduce them slowly to the water in a quiet area like an inlet. Think about packing a doggy life jacket if you’re going to go out on a boat or if you dog likes to swim deep. Also it is good to be aware of rip currents that might be too strong.  Even if your dog likes to stay at the surf, be extra careful around piers and shallow water where a lot of shells have washed up. Old fishing hooks and broken shells can easily cut their paws.

Pack plenty of provisions like shade, water and leashes

It gets hot in the sun and dogs can easily overheat, having lots of water and a shady umbrella will go a long way to make everyone comfortable. Another good tip is to pack several leashes; keep one in the car, take one or two to the beach so you can change the length while they’re tied up, and if you’re staying at a house you can leave one tied to the porch for easy hook up when you get home. And don’t forget to pack the toys! Light floaty toys and a Frisbee are always a hit.

Wash the sand off when you’re done

We all love the feeling you get when you wash the sand off after a long day at the beach.  Share that feeling with your pup and wash them off or bathe them when you can, if not use a brush or a thin microfiber towel to brush the sand off their face and fur. This will help them be comfortable and avoid skin irritation. 

Sunny days in the sand and waves at the beach is a fantastic way to spend a summer day and it’s even better when your favorite canine companion comes along too. With these simple tips you both are sure to have a wonderful time.

There are some great beaches in Florida for your dog.

Don’t forget to comment below and tell us some of your favorite tips and tricks you use when take your dog to the beach!