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Beaches & Parks

Dog-Friendly Tips for Splashin and Dashin

A day at the beach. A walk in the park. Fun? Sure. But, when you add your dog to the mix, it’s so much better.

But some beaches and parks are more pet friendly than others. In our travels, we’ve enjoyed many dog-friendly beaches and parks from coast to coast. We'll feature them in our travel blogs in the coming days, weeks, and months. So be sure to check out our home page often to get the inside scoop!

Here are 10 tips to make the most out of your trip to the beach with your dog.

1. Don’t take for granted that all dogs know the doggie paddle. Certain breeds like Corgis and Pugs typically don’t swim at all. Give your dog a chance to try swimming by following you in calm, shallow water. Do not ever throw your dog into the water and expect him to swim.

2. Drinking salt water can make dogs sick, but just try to tell them that. Bring plenty of fresh water to beach outings for the both of you.

3. The same waves, currents and rip tides that are dangerous to humans can also be exhausting and deadly to your dog. If you are planning a visit to the ocean, invest in a life vest for your dog.  Select one that fastens at three points and has a handle on the back. This makes fishing Fido out of the water easy.

4. Fifi’s delicate pink skin burns!  Use a sunscreen formulated for dogs, applying to nose, ears and other exposed areas of skin half an hour before sun exposure. Reapply often if she is a swimmer. Set up in an area that has some shade, or bring a tent to provide shade for you and your dog.
5. Check your dog for scrapes and cuts from sharp submerged rocks, shells and other objects. And look out for jellyfish and other biting, stinging marine life.

6. Boat and Jet Ski motors and big waves can frighten dogs. Quiet, calm areas away from boaters, jet skiers and other motorized water vehicles are best.

7. Understand the sand. You know how difficult it is to run on sand. Don’t expect your dog to be any better at it. Give him a good warm-up period and don’t overdo it with running and fetching. And remember that the sand can beome very hot on a sunny day. If you can't walk barefoot on the sand neither can your dog.

8. Be mindful of water temperature. Even though your Labrador may be gangbusters to jump into that frigid mountain lake, cold water can cause arthritis and joint pain.

9.  Be mindful of hypothermia and heat stroke. Learn the signs and symptoms and treatments before you go to the beach.  You may want to have fun in the sun all day, but 1 to 2 hours may be your dog’s limit.

10. Rinse and dry your dog thoroughly after swimming. Salt and sand can irritate your dog’s skin, and moisture in his ear canal can lead to infection.

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