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two white Westies spending time on the beach

6 beach safety tips for dogs

Summer is the season for fun in the sun! If you’re thinking of including your dog in your beach plans, there are a few things you should consider for your pooch’s health and safety. Here we’ll look at six tips to help you and your pet have a trouble-free beach vacation.

6 Pet Safety Tips for the Beach

Abide by beach rules. Not all beaches allow dogs, and some that do only allow them during certain restricted periods (such as during the off-peak season or in the hours when lifeguards are off duty). Before you go, check the community beach rules, including the leash laws. Remember, you and your pet are visitors, and it’s important to abide by the rules so that dog-friendly beaches stay open to pets.

Bring enough fresh water. Dogs, like humans, can’t drink salt water. So when packing liquid refreshments for yourself, don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh water for your pet. Heat and exercise can make both you and your dog thirstier than average, so be sure your pooch has a drinking bowl and plenty of fresh water to cool down.

Provide some shade. Spending a full day in the sun may sound ideal to some of us, but our pets might prefer a break from the heat. So be sure to provide your dog with a place to escape the sun. Lightweight pet tents and sun shelters can be purchased online, or if you’re renting a beach umbrella, be sure it casts a shadow big enough for you and your dog to get out of the direct sun.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion in pets. It’s essential that you be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion in pets. These can include excessive panting, drooling, problems with muscle coordination, and in severe cases, collapse. If you notice any of these, get your dog off the beach and to a cool shaded place as soon as possible. If symptoms persist, seek veterinary attention. Remember, dogs don’t sweat the way we do, so keeping their skin cool with a damp towel or spray mist bottle can help keep their bodies from overheating when they’re not in the water.

Stay aware of hazards. The beach is a place to cut loose and enjoy. However, when you’re with your pet, there are some potential beach hazards you should avoid. These include rough or choppy surf, riptides, sharp objects in the sand, and unattended food or trash left behind by beach goers. If you are permitted to let your dog off-leash, always keep your pet in sight. Remember there are probably other vacationers on the beach with their pets too—so if your dog has problems socializing with other animals or with people, you may want to keep that leash on.

Clean up after your pet. No matter where you travel on your vacation, always strive to be a good visitor. That means cleaning up and disposing of you trash properly, and cleaning up after your pet. Most beaches provide some form of trash receptacles, but if you are on a “carry-in carry-out” beach, be prepared to lug your trash (including your pet’s used poop bags) back to the parking lot with you.

We hope these tips will help you and your pets have a safe and fun time at the beach!


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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