Dog Safety In The Summer Heat: Can I Take My Woof To The Beach?
Now is the time of the year when we are all thinking about going abroad and spending our time laying by the pool, eating yummy food, having fun on sandy beaches, and swimming in warm blue seas, all the while busy working on our tans.
But it is looking more likely that the summer of 2020 will be the year for staycations and UK-based holidays. That might also mean that our woofs can holiday with us this year, rather than having their own mini-break as we fly off to sunnier climes.
Before you plan your break, check out if you can take your dog to the beach and research which local beaches are woof-friendly and which ones you should avoid.
It’s also a good idea to remind yourself of how to best look after your woof among the waves, sand, and pebbles.
Also, pay attention to your dogs in hot weather, because even though you are not basking in the in the Mediterranean sun, it can still get very warm in the UK summer heat and be a concern for your furball's health (dog's can get sunburn and also develop heatstroke, which can be fatal).
How do I find dog-friendly beaches?
If your plans involve staying in a holiday home, do some research before you book as to how woof-friendly the local area is and where the nearest dog-friendly beaches are.
A quick internet search will show the best beaches in your specific area, as well as any timing restrictions and special doggy sections.
Most owners of doggy properties will leave advice regarding dog-friendly beaches you can visit with your furball.
Is it ok to take my dog to the beach?
Yes. Beaches are great places for dogs to explore and they will encounter sounds and textures that they don’t often experience. But there are definitely some elements you need to be aware of:
- Tides. You should always check the times of the tides when you go to the beach, with or without your dog. The tide can come in quickly, possibly leaving you cut off from the mainland. But beaches at low tide can provide enormous expanses of lovely compact sand for your dog to gallop across.
- Seawater. can dogs drink seawater? The short anwser is NO. Drinking salty seawater can make dogs poorly, causing sickness, diarrhoea and dehydration. Take plenty of freshwater with you, along with a bowl, and make sure your dog drinks lots of that throughout your seaside visit. Make sure you wash their fur and paws too, to stop them licking too much dried salt.
- Sand. Great fun to dig in but not good to eat. Sand can cause blockages in the stomach so if you take toys with you, make sure they’re not likely to end up with sand clinging to them – think smooth toys like frisbees rather than fuzzy tennis balls.
- Temperature. Beaches aren’t known for their shady areas and a sea breeze can disguise a rising temperature in the summer heat. Either take some shade with you (parasol, windbreak or little pop-up tent) or avoid the hottest part of the day, 11am – 3pm. Sand gets incredibly hot too and burnt paws are very unpleasant. Heatstroke is a very real threat to dogs, even out if the open, so it’s doubly important to keep them cool and hydrated on hot days.
- Sunburn. Light coloured dogs and those with thinner hair can suffer from sunburn. You can get doggy-specific sun cream or apply non-toxic, pet safe human sunscreen. As with humans, sunburn in dogs can lead to skin cancer, and at the very least is distressing and uncomfortable.
- Buried danger. We can’t see what’s buried in the sand or lurking the pebbles so it’s advisable to have a doggy first-aid kit with you on beach trips. A cut pad from a piece of broken glass could be cleaned up on the spot before heading to the vet.
Is it safe for my dog to swim in the sea?
If your dog is used to swimming, and you have checked the tides, they should be absolutely safe swimming in the sea. If they’re not a strong swimmer or not comfortable in the water, sea swimming is best avoided. Waves can be scary and disorientating and there is always a risk of unseen dangers, such as undercurrents and riptides.
The same safe sea swimming rules for humans also apply to dogs – look out for warning flags, cordoned off areas, buoys, jellyfish. If your dog gets into danger, raise the alarm for help rather than trying to help them yourself – many serious incidents are created when owners try to rescue their dogs.
A trip to the beach with your woof can be a lovely, fun and enjoyable trip. By following a few precautions and keeping a close eye on your pooch, you can make lots of seaside memories and make the beach another place that your dog loves to explore.
Keeping your dogs hydrated in the summer
Here’s how you can keep your pooch hydrated wherever you are:
- Have multiple bowls of water easily accessible
- Take breaks in between playing for your dog to rehydrate
- Ensure your dog has somewhere he or she can hide sheltered from the heat
- Have some frozen water bottles or a cold ice pack ready to use if your dog needs something cold to lie on to lower their temperature
Have a great beach summer holiday with your woof!
If you do head off to the beach this summer with your dog, we’d love to see some photos of your happy hounds on holiday.
Send them to us at @benyfitnatural on Facebook or Instagram.
Also, if you are thinking making the switch to raw feeding your dog, then doing it while you are on holiday is a great time to try it out. It might make you woof feel more comfortable when in a new location and a change of routine.
Happy summer days!