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Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach

Updated on July 08, 2015

Protect your dog from dangers on the beach!

dog beach dangers, dog beach diarrhea, dog beach diarrhea home remedies
dog beach dangers, dog beach diarrhea, dog beach diarrhea home remedies

Taking Your Dog to the Beach?

The beach can be a multi-sensorial experience for your dog, just romping around on the sand, chasing the waves or simply soaking the sun rays on a cozy blanket, may surely make him happy. However, as a loving, caring owner, you must be aware of some potential dangers in order to protect your dog from harm and spend a happy and uneventful time at the beach.

At a first look, the beach may look like a pretty safe haven for your dog: the sand is soft, there are no cars and you are always there to supervise him. Yet, sometimes with the best intentions, accidents may happen. At a closer look, indeed the beach may hide some dangers, following are some guidelines to protect your pooch and safeguard your happy moments.

Vet's Best Sun Spray Sunscreen for Dogs, 4oz
Vet's Best Sun Spray Sunscreen for Dogs, 4oz

Sun Spray® Sunscreen for Dogs helps provide extra production from harmful ultraviolet rays while your pet is outdoors, and applies without the mess of lotions. Use on ears, nose, muzzle, pink skin or spray entire hair coat of light-colored or short-haired breeds.


Ten Dog Beach Dangers Every Owners Should Know

Learning about dog beach dangers can help you take preventive measures to protect your dog.

1) Prevent Heat Stroke

As you may already know, dogs may tolerate heat to a less extent than we humans do. Unlike us, dogs do not perspire (other than a bit from their paw pads) so they must rely on their cooling system which consists of panting. Trouble begins to start when this cooling system is altered by high humidity, physical over exhaustion and high temperatures. Generally, if the temperature outside is much more hotter than the dog's internal temperature, panting will not help the dog cool off, leading to hyperthermia and therefore, heat stroke.

Symptoms to be wary of are the following: excessive panting, difficulty and noisy breathing, bright red gums and tacky saliva. As the heatstroke progresses the dog will worsen and its gums will become pale, walking may be difficult with a staggering gait, the dog will reach high temperatures, develop bloody diarrhea and eventually will succumb if not treated in time.

2) Avoid Over Exertion

Most dogs will have a blast on the beach and will run back and forth or go swimming. However, these actions may cause heat stroke. Fortunately, most dogs will retreat to a shadowed area after romping around a bit to cool off. Yet, often dogs that are hyperactive may not listen to their need to retreat because they have too much pent up energy. This may cause heat stroke. If your dog is over doing it, call him to you and allow him to relax a bit next to you in a shady area. Please remember that dogs may over heat even when in the water, especially when the water temperatures are over 75 degrees.

3) Provide Hydration

The best way to prevent heatstroke is to keep your dog in a shady area with lots of water. Bring along a bottle of frozen water from home to give frequently in little sips if possible. A well hydrated dog has skin that is elastic and springs back quickly when lifted over the shoulder blades. .

4) Prevent Sun Burn

Dogs that present white muzzles and white ears or that are entirely white coated or very light in color have a higher tendency to develop sunburn. Human sun tan lotions should be avoided all together because they contain chemicals that may be toxic if licked off. Such dogs should be kept in the shade or a veterinarian-approved sun lotion should be applied.

5) Watch for Sand in the Eyes

Dogs like to romp around in the beach, roll in the sand and play all day long. It is easy for sand granules to go in the eyes and cause pain, weeping and redness. It may help to flush the eye with some water (not salt water of course), however, if problems continue the eye should be seen by the veterinarian because there are chances of the sand scraping the cornea's surface causing a potential corneal ulcer.

6) Watch for Hot Sand

At times, the sand may be quite hot during the scorching afternoon hours. Your dog's sensitive paw pads may hurt and easily burn. Also, carry your dog if feasible if there is a stretch of asphalt from the car to the the beach.

7) Prevent Eating Sand

Some dogs may resort to eating some sand at the beach. This can cause an upset stomach because the sand may be irritating to the stomach, but in some cases, when a lot of sand is ingested it may cause a serious intestinal impaction.

8) Prevent Eating Shells/Starfish/Stones

These can potentially cause choking, intestinal blockages if swallowed in large chunks or whole, or they can cause injury as they pass through the gastro-intestinal system. Watch as well for other stuff such as fish hooks, algae, dead sea gulls or the alike.

9) Prevent Drinking Salt Water

Drinking a lot of salt water may cause sickness because of the bacteria found in it and/or because the high salt content may throw the dog's electrolytes off balance causing nausea and vomiting. In some cases, when too much water is consumed, the dog's sodium levels may rise causing severe dehydration and even death. Too much salt water may aslo cause a case of beach diarrhea. Here is a fatal report from the past, all dog owners should keep in their mind: Swim kills family pet

10) Prevent Drowning

Dogs may be great swimmers but domestication may have slowed dogs down a bit on their great swimming skills. There are reports each years of dogs drowning, so it is best to keep dogs near the shore and not allow them to go too deep.

As seen, there are still some dangers even in the most unexpected places, simply keep an eagle eye on your dog, keep him cool, give lots of bottled water and have fun!


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    • dreamdamodar profile image

      Raman Kuppuswamy 7 years ago from Chennai, India

      Good information.

    • profile image

      Rebecca 6 years ago

      Also, for the safety of your dog and others, please keep a leash handy.

    • Brad Beach profile image

      Brad Beach 5 years ago

      Nice post!

      One thing we always ensure while visiting the beach with our dog is that her vaccinations are up to date to help boost her antimicrobial resistance and that she is wearing an up to date, topical insect repellant.

    • profile image

      Steve 5 years ago

      It would be nice to have one place to go where I am not pestered by dogs. Why do dog owners feel that it is acceptable to let their dogs roam around where other people are trying to relax. I watch dog owners who call their dogs back from sniffing around where people are picnicking and actually think it's cute that their germ ridden animals are scavenging for food. I am sick of people who think it is perfectly fine to let them piss on the same piece of sand that some kiddy could be using too make sand castles. You have already filled our parks up with dog shit. Let us have our beaches back. Not everybody thinks dogs are cute. Some HATE them.

    • MariaDoyle profile image

      MariaDoyle 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips! Steve-I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with dogs at the beach. I live walking distance to the beach so I have seen many different types of dog owners and beach goers and, from my experience, most dog owners are respectful of others and most beach goers don't seem to mind the dogs and often people of all ages come up to me to "meet" my dog. Although my beach does not allow dogs on the beach during the peak season until after 5:00 so other beaches may be different. I personally wouldn't bring my dog to the beach during the day in the summer months when it is really hot and crowded but my dog is a 100 lb. chocolate lab!

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      steve - i hate your face. people that hate dogs are pieces of shit.

    • profile image

      Wanman 4 years ago

      Steve, it's such a shame that your life is so empty, perhaps you should take one last trip to the beach, then leave it alone for the rest of the nice people of planet earth to enjoy with their loved ones!

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

      Excellent information. I wasn't aware of doggy sun tan lotion, but it makes complete sense to use a lotion that can be easily digested.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Many owners of white dogs use it as they get easily sun burn on the ears and muzzle. Doggie sun tan lotion needs to be made specifically for dogs as human lotion is harmful to dogs, thanks for stopping by!

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