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We all love going to the beach and there is no reason why your dog shouldn't be allowed to join in on the fun. Here are 10 Tips for a Great Beach Day with Dogs.
Not every dog will love jumping in the water as much as you do, but at least there is an open area for your pup to run around, socialize and work off all their energy. Our dog, Jade, absolutely loves the beach. She knows that Sundays are her day to go and she will try any and everything to get us up and out the door. Since she is very high energy, the beach is the perfect place for her to run free and burn off all her steam. Sometimes she can barely make it home without passing out on the back seat after a couple hours with all her beach friends!
The first few times we took her to the beach were stressful and exhausting. She was on the leash, pulling every direction, wouldn't go anywhere near the water, etc. But now that we go almost every Sunday, we've got our routine down. Since there were things I wish I had known before taking her for the first time, I have compiled a list of my top five tips for bringing your dog to the beach.
1. Know your dog
Before you consider going to the beach with your dog, the biggest tip I have is to know your dog.
Do they behave well on or off the leash?
Do they get aggressive when many other dogs are around?
Do they like the water?
Can you let them off the leash and expect them not to run away?
It is important to know how your dog interacts with both other dogs and humans. There is a lot going on at the beach and it is important to know all of your dogs triggers (if they have any).
2. Make sure the beach is dog friendly.
Unfortunately, not all beaches are as tolerant of dogs and we would all want them to be. Also, check and see if your dog is required to be on leash or not. We prefer going to Huntington Dog Beach where Jade can roam around off leash.
3. Keep a close eye on your dog.
Even though Jade is allowed off leash, we make sure to stay close to her in the event something happens. I know the beach is typically a place where you want to lay out, tan and maybe nap in the sun. But the dog beach is not necessarily a place to let your guard down. It is very important to always watch your dog and be close enough to them, should you have to intervene in a potentially dangerous situation.
We know that Jade isn't aggressive and just wants to play but you can't predict the temperament of another dog, how good their owners are or if they are trained well. We have never had an issue there at the HB Dog Beach but each time we go, we are on high alert to make sure that nothing bad will ever happen to her or anyone else's dog.
4. Pack a bag.
Decide how long you are going to be there and pack a bag accordingly. If you plan on being there for only about an hour, you probably don't need much more than some poop bags, and a leash. But if you are planning to be there for two or more hours, go ahead and pack some snacks for yourself and your dog.
Our favorite snack to bring is baby carrots! Not only are they healthy for both your and your pup, you only have to worry about bringing one bag of snacks.
5. Bring plenty of water.
We buy the giant gallon sizes water for Jade and we typically bring one extra bottle of water each for ourselves. If we are only at the beach for an hour or so, we don't worry about carrying the water down with us. But if we are there for longer (especially when it's hot) we will bring everything down with us and make sure Jade drinks water fairly often.
6. Bring towels.
The last thing you want is a wet, sandy dog dirtying up your car. In addition to the towels that we bring for ourselves we always have a couple extra for Jade. One of them we will lay over the back seat and then the other one we use to really wipe her down before getting back into the car.
There are many products out there that help keep your car clean after the beach, but we haven't tried any of them yet!
7. Consider bringing a life vest.
We don't bring a life vest for Jade because we know that she can swim. If you haven't gone before or if your dog can't swim you might want to consider bringing a life vest. They are not always necessary but good to have just in case.
8. Watch out for dangers in the sand.
You never really know what could be hiding in the sand at the beach so just be cautious. There could be sharp rocks, shells, jellyfish, etc. hiding in the sand that could potentially hurt your dog. Just be mindful of your dog's body language and before you leave just check to make sure they don't have any cuts or scrapes to worry about.
We have never had to use it, but I always keep a first aid kit in my trunk with dog friendly items just in case!
9. Don't overdo it.
We know that Jade will run for hours and hours at the dog beach if we let her. However, we know it is important to not overdo it. This goes back to tip #1 of knowing your dog. Pay attention to their body language. If they are starting to look very tired and thirsty that is a good sign to call it a day.
Jade lasts for about 2-3 hours at the beach, depending on the day. Typically around the 3 hour mark she will be visibly tired and start to lay down in the sand. Sometimes she'll even start walking herself towards the car! Just be mindful of how your dog is and go home when you think they've had enough.
10. Have fun and take lots of pictures!
I hope that these 10 Tips for a Great Beach Day with your dog helped plan your next trip!