Skip to main content
Guy walking dogs on the beach

Dogs and ocean hazards

Q: We’re heading to the beach, and for the first time, we’re taking Mack, our Labrador retriever. Dogs are permitted on the beach only in the early morning and late evening, so the air and sand should be cool. Are there any special precautions we should take?

A: If Mack is like most Labs, he’ll enjoy a romp in the surf. Watch him closely to be sure he doesn’t swim out too far or get caught in a rip current.

Some dogs lap up salt water as they swim. If Mack does, you’ll have to limit his time in the water. Salt water ingestion can cause diarrhea, vomiting and even neurological disorders. If Mack develops diarrhea, the most common problem associated with drinking seawater, offer him plenty of fresh water to prevent dehydration, and give him time to empty his bowels before he heads back indoors.

Don’t let Mack eat the fish, shellfish or seaweed washed up on the beach. Whether dead or alive, sea life can be contaminated with bacteria that may make him sick.

Bounding through the sand is risky, because Mack can cut himself on broken glass or shells buried beneath the surface. Check his feet closely after play time.

If you take these simple precautions, I’m certain Mack will enjoy his beach vacation immensely.

Editor’s Note: While many dogs love water, if you have a dog who hasn’t been around water, here are tips for teaching your dog how to swim.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by Reviews.com since 2017.

family in back of car with yellow lab

Each year an estimated ...

Dog waiting patiently as owner frosts homemade dog donuts in front of him

As shocking as it may be, fall is...

Woman hugging her small dog on beach

If you're interested in the self-help...

Woman petting fluffy cat outside

Did you know that pets can have a...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Small dog sits in front of steps of house

Moving from a 2 bedroom condo in the city to...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...