Beach Essentials For Dogs: Everything You Need To Take

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Swimming, playing, chasing, and relaxing in the sun is a fun day for both you and your dog. 
We have compiled a list of everything we take when our dogs join us on the beach, along with some frequently asked questions and things to remember.

 

Busy? Get Your Hands Paws On The Answers Quickly…

 

What To Take To The Beach With Dogs

 

Travel Bag - Our recommendation

A plastic bag, tote bag, or an old gym bag can be used to transport your dog's things. However, we like to have a dog-specific bag that is pre-packed and ready to go. It means we don't forget anything and everything for the dog is kept together. Our recommended bag has a flat base, meaning it stands up alone. This stops the sand from getting in and makes it easy to find everything.

 

Microfiber Towels - Our recommendation

These quick-drying towels are ideal for cleaning your dog. They're more compact and light compared to regular towels. Other than for drying, towels can also be used for your dogs to lay on, wash wounds, like a blanket, or as a carrying device.

 

Fresh Water 

Make sure to bring plenty of clean water for both you and your dog. The ocean is salty, and when dogs swim or try to play fetch in the ocean, they can consume the water. This makes them extra thirsty. If you're out on a hot day, it is also essential to have extra water as this is one-way dogs can regulate their temperature.

 

Bowls - Our recommendation

Portable bowls are ideal as they collapse and are easy to transport. Bowls are suitable for feeding and water, but they can also be used for bathing wounds and mixing medication if required. 

 

Collar and Identity Tag

  • Collars - These are mandatory in most places; they also mean you can keep your dog secure.
  • Identity Tag - Make sure all of your information is up to date on your dogs' ID tag.

 

Leashes

If you're visiting a beach that requires your dog to be on a leash, you may want to bring a couple of options.
  • Regular Leash - Our recommendation: This is ideal for getting to the beach, it means you can keep your dog under control and close by when needed. 
  • Long Leash - Our recommendation: If you're on a leash beach or your dogs' recall isn't perfect, a long line is excellent. It means your dog can have some extra freedom on the beach and in the sea, while still under control. 
  • Tie Out or Tether - Our recommendation: If you're keeping your dog on a long line, attaching your dog to a tether is easier than holding onto the leash and gives you the security that your dog is safely restrained. 

 

Shade - Our recommendation

If it's warm, your dog will need shade. An umbrella, tent, or canopy are all good options. Make sure your dog is comfortable around the tent before going to the beach. These can be scary for some dogs. 

 

First Aid Kit

Accidents happen, and the beach poses a pretty high risk. Being able to deal with a minor incident is essential. If your dog ingests something poisonous, suffers an injury, or is stung, some simple things can ease the pain and discomfort before seeking medical assistance.
We recommend taking the following:
- First aid manual
- Written information (download our PDF card here)
  • Contact information (including your regular and emergency veterinarian information, pet poison hotline, emergency contact details)
  • Insurance details
  • Allergies
  • Regular medication taken
  • Health conditions
  • Current weight
  • Microchip number
- Soft Muzzle
- Tweezers
- Disposable gloves
- Foil blanket
- Instant cool pack
- Cotton wool
- Antiseptic wash or wipes
- Gauze pads
- Conforming/open-weave bandage
- Micropore tape
- Vet wrap
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Antihistamines
If you're interested in learning more about what should be in your dogs' first aid kit, check out our post How To Build A Dog First Aid Kit At Home here. 

 

Wipes

Perfect for cleaning sand out of their eyes and ears as well as many other things.

 

Toys

Keeping your dog entertained is essential at the beach. 
  • Chews - We like to bring long-lasting chews, which are great for when we want to relax as they keep the dog busy.
  • Floats Our recommendation - If your dog likes fetch, then purchasing water floats is a fun toy you can play with together in the water. 

 

Life Jacket - Our recommendation

If your dog loves the water, a life jacket can help keep them safe. The tides can turn, and the ocean does pose a safety risk. It is even more critical if your dog struggles to swim or is learning to swim. Make sure the jacket fits correctly.

 

Booties - Our recommendation

On a stone or rocky beach, your dogs' paws may need protection. You can purchase waterproof booties to help protect their paws. If you plan on using booties, make sure your dog has worn or tried them before as they can affect their ability to walk.
If you're worried about the heat on your dogs' paws, it's probably best not to take your dog with you. If you can't put your hand on the ground comfortably, then it is too hot.

 

Poop Bags

These speak for themselves, keep the beach clean.

 

Suncream

Despite being covered with fur, dogs can still get a sunburn. Particularly if you have a fair-skinned breed or breed with a single coat. You may need to use suncream to protect their skin, especially their nose and ears. 

 

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Things To Check Before Going To The Beach and Beach Safety

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Is it safe to bring your dog to the beach?

It depends. There are several factors to consider. The main things to consider are temperature, ingestion of harmful substances, tides and currents, and the experience and whether it is fun for your dog. 

 

These are the main things to think about before a trip to the beach with your pooch:

Dog Safe Beach

Make sure to check that the beach you're planning on visiting allows dogs. We know of several beaches that have time and month restrictions on dogs. 

 

Leash Restrictions 

Some beaches require your dog to be on a leash at all times. If your dog prefers to be off-leash and has good recall, you may want to look for a beach with off-leash options.

 

Temperature 

Check the weather before heading to the beach. If it's hot, it might be best to leave your dog at home. This will depend on the breed and how your dog tolerates the heat.
How can I keep my dog cool at the beach?
There are several ways to keep your dog cool on the beach. 
  • Shade - Make sure you have plenty of shade available for your dog to cool down in.
  • Drinking Water - Dogs don't sweat as we do, they cool down by panting and sweating from their paws. The panting helps to cool them down but makes them thirstier, so having plenty of fresh and cool water is essential.
  • Swimming - Taking a dip in the sea is effective at cooling your dog down.
There are other options, such as cooling vests, mats, and bandanas. However, these are controversial as they can have the opposite effect. They can shock the dog's body, making them think they are cold, making the body heat up further and causing heatstroke.

 

Plan 

What are you planning on doing at the beach, and does this suit your dogs' needs? My dog loves swimming and being in the water. So if I were planning on sunbathing, he would struggle to stay settled for the entire time. Check the itinerary and see if this suits your dog. 

 

Ocean/Sea

Make sure to check before allowing your dogs to swim, the main things to look for include:
  • A lifeguard
  • Flags to indicate that the water is safe
  • Temperature - The PDSA advises that if the water is too cold, your dog can struggle to swim. 
  • Tides - Make sure to check the tides as you do not want to end up stranded if the tides change. 
  • Rough Waters - Don't let your dog swim if the water looks dangerous. Drowning is always a risk. 

 

Harmful Substances

Is sand harmful to dogs?
It can be if your dog ingests a considerable amount. It can cause an intestinal blockage. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog to keep them from eating sand.
Is saltwater safe for dogs?
No, too much salt water can cause diarrhea and vomiting. It can also lead to extreme thirst and dehydration, make sure you have plenty of clean water available.

 

FAQs 

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Should I take my dog to the beach?
It depends. Do you think your dog will enjoy it, is the beach safe, and is the weather suitable? If the answer is yes, then go for it! Have a lovely beach day!

 

Do I need to wash my dog after the beach?
Yes, we recommend washing your dog when you return from the beach. The saltwater and sand can irritate the skin if it is not washed off properly.

 

Should I take my dog to the beach in hot weather?
It depends on your dog and how they handle the heat. Some dogs react better to warmer temperatures than others. Flat-faced breeds and those with thicker coats should be kept cool on hot days, so we recommend avoiding the beach in the hot weather.

 

When can I take my dog to the beach?
We recommend visiting in the early morning or later evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. 

 

 

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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.

 

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