Rowan Vets’ Guide to a Safe Summer by the Sea with Your Dog

June 7, 2024

Summer is all about having fun in the sun, rolling in the sand, and splashing in the sea – especially when your furry friend is in tow! To ensure your dog stays safe at the seaside, Rowan Vets shares top tips for a worry-free beach day below.

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Sun, Sand, Sea and Safety!

Rowan Vets knows that a bit of sun-smart planning can make all the difference for a safe summer with your pooch. So…

  • Feeling hot? Consider leaving your furry friend to relax in a cool spot at home, especially if they are really young, old, have a very thick coat or a health condition.
  • On long days out and holidays with your dog, factor in time out of the sun together or schedule beach outings during cooler times of the day i.e. early morning or late afternoon.

Ready to hit the beach? Here are some tail-wagging tips from our dog-loving Vet, Ruth Mackay:

Our Top 10 Tips

  1. Sun Protection & Shade: Consider lightweight, UV-protective gear and dog-safe sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Set up camp in shaded areas to shield your furry friend from the sun’s rays. Vet Ruth Mackay, advises dog owners to be aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs which include excessive panting, drooling, restlessness, red gums/tongue, lethargy, vomiting & diarrhoea. If your dog is struggling, take them out of the heat, wet their fur with cool water, encourage drinking and get prompt vet advice
  2. Watch Those Waves: Assess water conditions before letting your dog take a dip. Stick to calmer waters and keep a close eye on your pup while they paddle.
  3. Prevent Saltwater Intake: Discourage your dog from drinking saltwater, as excessive consumption can lead to health issues. Ball games in the sea can result in dogs gulping saltwater.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink and offer regular hydration breaks. A collapsible water bowl is a convenient accessory for beach outings. Ruth’s top tip for spotting dehydration in dogs is to pull up a pinch of skin and let it drop. If it doesn’t go back to normal right away, your dog is likely dehydrated.
  5. Protect Those Paws: Sand and hot surfaces can scorch sensitive paw pads. Consider doggy booties or schedule beach visits during cooler times of the day.
  6. Watch Out for Hazards: Keep an eye out for sharp debris that could harm your pup’s paws. Take a stroll along the shore to ensure the area is safe before letting your dog off-leash.
  7. Sand Safety for Dogs: Keep an eye on your pup to ensure they’re not ingesting sand, which can lead to digestive issues or blockages – rinse off sandy paws after beach play. Sand in the eyes can cause problems too so wipe it away with a damp tissue if it’s irritating your dog.
  8. Know Your Dog’s Limits: Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Recognise your dog’s comfort level and never force them into water if they seem anxious or tired.
  9. Practice Proper Beach Etiquette: Foster a happier beach experience for all by abiding by local beach restrictions, cleaning up after your dog, and being mindful of other beachgoers and their pets.
  10. Rinse & Repeat: After a day of beach fun, Ruth recommends rinsing off your pup with fresh water to remove salt & sand. Pay extra attention to their paws, ears, and underbelly to prevent irritation.

By following these simple tips, you and your furry friend can enjoy a safe and fun-filled day at the beach. So, lather on that sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to make unforgettable memories together!

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