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A Fun, Friendly Day with Your Dog on the Beach

A Fun, Friendly Day with Your Dog on the Beach
By Mary-Jane Gallagher.

In 2016, there were an estimated 9.2 million dogs living in South Africa, so if you have just adopted a new pet or you have been sharing your home with dogs for many years, hopefully, you will be taking Fido and co. along with you to your next beach holiday! The key elements to bear in mind when doing so are: water safety, sun protection, and sustenance. Investing in a small list of items will help you and your dog enjoy your next holiday without a care in the world.

Choosing a Dog-Friendly Beach

Your first consideration when visiting the beach should involve a little research on dog-friendly beaches in the area you are visiting. There is a wide array of beaches in South Africa on which dogs are allowed before 9am and after 6pm, including Big Bay, Blaauwberg, Camps Bay, Clifton 4th, etc. If you are travelling abroad, you will easily find many pooch friendly beaches in Europe and other parts of the world. Some allow dogs all day, which is great news for families who can think of nothing better than spending all day lying down on soft sand.

Sun Safety

Dogs can get sunburned just like human beings can, especially if they are short-haired or they have sensitive skin. You can buy sunscreen for dogs, though the best preventive measure is to visit the beach outside peak hours of the sun (i.e. before 11am or after 5/6pm). Always bring a parasol, which will provide welcoming shade for you and your dog. If he likes swimming, he should wear a swimming top if he has skin issues, to protect him while he is under the sun. At any rate, any dog swimming in a large body of water should wear a dog vest to prevent drowning. Remember that the sand can become burning hot as well. Always test the sand with your own feet before allowing Fido to walk or run on the beach.

Drowning Protection

It is a good idea to give your dog a few swimming lessons before he heads out into the sea. His vest will ensure he stays afloat but to be on the safe side, an adult should always be swimming alongside him, to ensure he is safe against currents and waves. If you will be staying in a complex or home with a pool, ensure the latter is secured with a fence.

Essential Items

When packing your beach supplies, bring some essentials for Fido. If you will be on the beach for various hours, he may get hungry so bring a couple of non-perishable treats. Also ensure he has all the fresh water he needs throughout the day. Finally, try to recall any special needs your dog might have. Some dogs (such as brachycephalic breeds) tend to suffer from dry eyes; they may benefit from cleansing eye drops throughout the day.

We have mentioned just a few ways to enjoy the beach safely with your pooch. Researching local areas, nearby vets, and other dog-catered services can also help, since you never know when an emergency may arise. Keep your dog cool and hydrated, and remember that he is just as sensitive to sunburn as you are, especially if he has short hair.