How to Keep Your Dog Cool at the Beach

How to Keep Your Dog Cool at the Beach

Nothing beats a day at the beach with your canine companion. Splashing in the water and running across the sand chasing a frisbee can be a lot of fun for your dog. However, taking your dog to the beach also means making sure they don’t overheat.

Dogs don’t have the same capabilities to cool themselves as well as us humans. It’s up to us to make sure their time at the beach is just as safe for them as it is fun. Make beach memories with your number one pooch, and keep them protected against the heat with these helpful tips for keeping your dog cool.

Don't Forget Water

1. Don’t Forget Water

One of the biggest ways to keep your dog cool is to keep them well hydrated. Keep in mind that while there is plenty of water at the beach, drinking ocean water poses a health risk to dogs, especially if they drink a lot. As you are getting ready for the day, be sure to pack a water bowl and plenty of fresh water to take along. Encourage them to drink from their water bowl often.

If you have trouble making the water tempting with all of the excitement around, there are a few things you can do to get your dog to drink. You could add electrolytes into the water to make it tastier and help replenish your dog’s nutrients. You can also make the water smell familiar by using a bowl or dish from home. Offer praise and treats when your dog does take a sip. Watch for any signs of dehydration, such as lethargy, excessive panting and lost skin elasticity. If you suspect dehydration, seek veterinary care right away.

2. Keep Them in the Shade

Dogs love to bathe in the sun just as much as humans do, but too much sun can be harmful and lead to heatstroke. Allowing your dog opportunities for rest and relaxation in the shade will give them time for their body temperature to lower. Find a shady tree to sit under or an oversized umbrella, and relax together several times throughout your beach day.

3. Get Them a Tent

While there may be a lot of trees on the mainland, they are usually few and far between on the beach. A great way to ensure your dog will have a shady place to rest is by getting a tent. The beauty of a beach tent is that many of them provide protection from the sun while offering features such as water resistance and large windows for ventilation. Not only can your furry friend lay back and relax, but there will be enough space for you, too!

4. Take a Dip in the Ocean

Not all dogs can swim, but if your pooch has no issues treading water, swimming is a great way to cool down your dog at the beach. Dogs only have sweat glands on their paw pads and noses — they have to rely on other ways to lower their body temperatures, like panting or finding refuge from the heat. Splashing around in the waves is a great way to help them cool off.

Keep in mind that if you have an older dog with arthritis or other joint issues that cold water can agitate and make them uncomfortable. In these cases, stay in the shallow areas where the water will be warmer than the deeper parts.

Also, be sure that the conditions are safe enough for swimming. Always check for warnings before entering the water. Calm waters are best for safe playtime.

5. Bring a Life Vest

It may seem silly to put a life vest on a dog, but they can protect your companion in more ways than one. Not only will it help prevent them from drowning or becoming too tired while swimming, but it will also help keep their head above water. As mentioned before, lake and ocean water can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. Keeping their adorable snoots above water will help prevent them from gulping too much and getting saltwater poisoning.

There are also cooling vests that they can wear out of the water, as well. You can dunk cooling vests in water and then worn by the dog to help better regulate their body temperature when they are not taking a dip.

6. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Dogs have just as much risk of getting sunburnt as humans, especially on their noses and areas of exposed skin. While some breeds are more prone to getting a sunburn than others, the sun’s intensity can cause heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Depending on the location and the season, the sun’s rays are generally the strongest between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Mid-morning and early evening trips to the beach are the best times to go to avoid the maximum impact of the sun.

You can also apply sunscreen specially made for dogs to their nose and ears about 30 minutes before going to the beach. If your dog has short hair, you may also be able to apply it to their skin. You can also reapply it several times throughout the trip, especially after your dog has spent time in the water.

7. Cool Down With a Wash

When the fun in the sun is done, bathing your furry friend is recommended. Getting all of the salt, sand, sunscreen, and other possible debris out of their fur is important. Washing your dog will also allow you to check for any possible cuts or scrapes that may need medical attention. While we intend to always keep our dogs safe, they may sometimes get minor injuries without us (or them) realizing it.

8. Remove Any Sand From Your Dog’s Fur

If your dog requires proper grooming regularly, make sure you do this before going to the beach. A dog that has excessively long or matted fur will not only have a difficult time staying cool, but you will also have complications with removing sand. The shorter the hair, the less of an issue it will be for sand to stick.

Do a final rinse when getting ready to head home from the beach for the day. Rinsing your dog one last time will help get out any extra sand that may be hanging on. When you get home, you can give them a nice bath with their favorite mild shampoo. Towel dry your dog as best as you can to help dry their coat and loosen any remaining leftover sand. Once your dog is dry, treat them to a gentle brushing to remove most of the final grains of sand.

Keep in mind that it may take more than one round of grooming to completely get rid of all of the sand in their fur. If there is still a lot left to remove, feel free to simply rinse them with plain water, but skip the shampoo to prevent drying out their skin.

Helpful Tips for Keeping your dog cool

Bring Your Dog to Ocean City, NJ

Now that you know how to keep your dog cool at the beach, it’s time to plan your next beach trip to Ocean City, New Jersey, with your furry friend. At Ocean City, NJ, your dog can enjoy some fun in the sun and get lots of exercise on our beaches during the off-season.

Visit Ocean City with your dog for a beautiful walk on the beach. If you have questions, please contact us, and we’d be happy to help!

Bring Your Dog to Ocean City, NJ

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