If you're planning a trip to the beach this summer, then you probably already know what you need to bring to make the most of your experience. You'll likely pick out a new swimsuit, fluffy beach towel, trendy sunglasses, and of course, sunscreen.
Then, you might pack a tasty picnic lunch and fill a bag with fun stuff to do, like beach balls, a paddleball set, a boogie board, maybe even load up a surfboard or jet ski. Or, perhaps a good book is more your style. But what if you're planning to bring Fido on your beach adventure? Taking your dog to the beach adds a whole other list of items to your beach bag.
Preparing for a Beach Trip with Your Dog
Before showing up at the beach with your dog, it's worth taking care of a few things first. The number one priority is making sure the beach is dog-friendly. This step goes beyond merely allowing dogs. Scope the beach out ahead of time and see if other people tend to bring their pups. If so, you can safely assume the people who visit the beach are at least dog-tolerant.
Plus, it's also an excellent idea to introduce the beach to your dog slowly. Before setting off on a full day of fun, visit the beach with your pooch for a 30-minute walk, then a 45-minute walk/play session combo, etc. Test out how your dog responds to the beach environment. If they seem to enjoy it, then you can start extending the length of your visits.
Finally, before heading to the surf and sand, check the weather. Try to avoid overly hot days that could increase your dog's risk of heat exhaustion and other issues.
Once you've done these things, gather your supplies ahead of time. You don't want to end up going without something important because you didn't realize you needed it or were out of it. As for what to bring to the beach for your dog, we've got you covered. Check out the list of items at the end of this article.
Keep Your Dog Safe at the Beach
A fun beach outing can turn into a disaster if you don’t take the proper precautions. Stay away from rough, choppy water, keep your pal on a leash, and scan the area where you set up your stuff. Keep an eye out for sharp objects in the sand, snippy critters like crabs, and other potential dangers.
Also, take notes of nearby visiting dogs that might rile up your pooch. If you spot some aggressive pups, choosing a different area might be the better option for you. Finally, provide your dog with lots of shade and sun protection (you’ll find ideas for what you need on our list).
Practicing Good Doggy Beach Manners
When you enjoy a day at the beach with your pal, it’s not fair to do so at the expense of other’s enjoyment. In other words, make sure you and your dog practice good beach manners. You don’t want to disturb other beachgoers or ignore your duties as a pet parent.
Therefore, if you haven’t already done so, before attempting a beach outing, do some basic training with your pup. Essentials like sit, stay, and come are important commands (no matter where you are) for keeping your dog safe and respecting others. In addition, it can be helpful to bring a few distractions along with you, like our Neat-Lik Mat or similar item, to help keep your pal engaged when they get anxious or unfocused. For the comfort of everyone at the beach, it is best to walk your dog off the beach if they need to use the bathroom. However, if an accident does happen, make sure you clean it up just like you would anywhere else.
Things Your Dog Needs at the Beach
Of course, what you bring to the beach for your pup depends on a few things. What will you be doing? How long are you planning to stay? Is anyone coming with you? These are just a few of the things to consider when gathering your supplies.
However, in addition to the poop bags, here's a basic list of what you should expect to bring with you when taking your dog to the beach (as well as some highly suggested items):
- You need a dog bowl and fresh water for your pup to drink. You certainly don't want to fill your pal's dish with ocean water, so ensure you bring a bottle or two of H2O for your pet.
- If you plan to spend the entire day at the beach, you might also need your pup's food dish and a serving of their chow.
- It's also handy to have some of your furry friend's favorite treats. Plus, a chew bone or some tasty peanut butter inside an interactive toy, like the Rolly Cannoli, to help keep them satisfied and focused during rest times.
Safety and Comfort
- Bring an extra towel for your furry friend to lounge on, just in case they prefer not to roll around in the sand. Either way, be prepared to give your dog a thorough wash down with clean water after your beach foray. Leaving sand and other elements on your pup’s coat can irritate their skin, not to mention get all over your house.
- A dog harness and long leash are a must for allowing your pal to explore without running into trouble (or running off). As tempting as it may be to let your pal run free, it's not very safe.
- Doggy sunglasses to protect your pup's eyes from a full day of fun-in-the-sun are a good idea. Plus, they're just so cute (if your dog is willing to wear them).
- Another consideration when dealing with so much sun exposure is sunscreen, especially if your dog has short or thin hair or a light-colored coat. Dogs can experience a sunburn, and its related conditions, just like people, so pack a dog-friendly sunscreen for your pal. Focus on applying the sunscreen all over according to the label's instructions, but concentrate on your pup's nose and ears.
- For extra sun protection, you can dress your dog in a stylish sun shirt. Plus, set up a beach umbrella as a shady retreat.
- You might want to consider some dog booties if your pup can't stand the sand on their feet (especially if the sand is hot). Plus, their paws will stay cleaner and have increased protection from potential hazards hiding in the sand, like broken glass. If booties aren't their thing, you can also use a paw protector that you simply rub on their feet.
Fun in the Sun
- Summer activities can be a blast with your pup. Therefore, bring along some games to play with your dog. If your dog needs lots of exercise, bring toys that encourage running and motion, like a frisbee, ball, or similar item.
- If your pup is a little more low-key, bring along a couple of their favorite toys that they can chew or snuggle as they lounge by your side.
- This one could also fall under safety, but if you're planning to take your dog in the water, invest in a dog-specific life jacket. It's also a good idea even if your pooch will just be getting close to the water, especially if they aren't a strong swimmer.
Once you've taken the time to properly prep and pack for your beach adventure, you can enjoy some summer fun with your best furry friend. Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful tips on spending quality time with your fur babies. We know, when it comes to your pets, it's all about spoiling them and doing what's best for them at the same time.