It’s not a secret that Chuy LOVES going to the beach. We’ve been taking Chuy to the beach since he was just a tiny little puppy. He loves it so much that we have to spell the word B-E-A-C-H until we are actually ready to go! In just a few weeks we’re headed to Myrtle Beach, SC for the annual BlogPaws conference. I know many of our friends will be visiting the beach for the first time. Since I’ve practically grown up at the beach, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips for taking your dog to the beach. Don’t forget to pack a bag! Get our 10 Must Haves for the Beach with Your Dog.
1. Is the Beach Dog Friendly? Know the Laws!
Not all beaches are dog friendly. In Virginia Beach, our beaches our dog friendly anytime outside of the main tourist season. During the tourist season, there are limited hours and some places like the boardwalk are totally off limits. Always look up the laws of the city so that you don’t end up with a ticket!
I never recommend walking a dog without a leash but some people like to let their dogs run free when on the beach. Be sure to observe the leash laws of the dog friendly beach you’re visiting.
2. Beware of Scorching Hot Sand!
The dog friendly beaches have limited hours in the summer/tourist season due to the amount of tourists but also because of the extreme heat. The hot sun in the middle of the day in July could severely burn your dog’s paws. I always test the sand first by taking off my flip flops. If it’s too hot for me, it’s too hot for Chuy! Another tip to prevent burnt paws is to walk closer to the shoreline where the sand is cooler due to the water.
If you’re making a day trip out of it, be sure to bring an umbrella or a portable crate where your dog can get some shade.
3. What to Bring to a Dog Friendly Beach
- Poop Bags – Please clean up after your dogs! Nothing irritates me more than pet parents that don’t do this!
- Wipes – I bring my Burt’s Bees Dog Wipes to clean up Chuy’s face and paws after a day in the sand. Sand can get under your dog’s nail bed and cause irritation so be sure to wipe them thoroughly!
- Fresh Water – Bring a bottle for drinking and one for rinsing any excess sand or salt off of your dog.
- Collapsible Bowl
- Towel or Blanket – Use this to sit on and to help shake off any sand or to dry off your dog after a swim.
For a full list, check out our 10 Must Haves for the Beach with Your Dog.
4. To Swim Or Not To Swim?
Chuy is terrified of the water. When we walk along the shore, he makes sure to stay out of the way when the waves come in. We never have to worry about Chuy running out into the water on his own. Will you let your dog swim? If so, make sure your dog knows how to swim. If the red flags are out, stay out of the water! It means that the rip currents are too dangerous for anyone to be in the water. I definitely recommend a doggie life vest if swimming in the ocean is part of your beach day.
Do not let your dog drink the salt water! It’s dangerous!
5. Watch Out For Hidden Dangers in the Sand
The sand feels amazing between your toes paws, but there can also be hidden dangers. Be sure to look out for sharp seashells, rocks, fishing hooks, and jellyfish! On our beaches, there are these prickly little bushes with small burrs that line the dunes and the walk way when you’re walking into the beach. Chuy has gotten these in his paw before and they hurt! Always look your dog over after a trip to the beach.
What Are Your Tips For Taking Your Dog to the Beach?
Have you ever been to a dog friendly beach? What tips would you recommend for anyone taking their dog to the beach? Check out our 10 Must Haves for the Beach with Your Dog.
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