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Sun, Sea and Sand, Beach tips and safety!

There is no doubt about it in this country we are blessed with some of the most stunning beaches in the world!  The surf might not be suitable for every breed however with the right dog, the beach is an amazing place to visit, full of exciting things to explore…

Training your dog for a beach outing.

There are certain behaviours your dog should know before heading to the beach to ensure an enjoyable and safe day for everyone.

  • Reliable Recall – as many activities require letting your dog off the leash, you have to make sure they will return when called. If your dog is not fully trained in this, please stick to walks along the shore on leash.
  • Leave it… with so many things on the beach i.e. dead fish, jellyfish, discarded food, picnic baskets etc it is very important your dog knows to leave things alone when told.
  • Socialised – with so many things happening at once on the beach it is important that your dog is comfortable sharing their surroundings and toys. If not pick quieter times to avoid your dog being uncomfortable around others and their pets.

Activities on the beach.

  • Playing fetch on the beach with a ball/disk is great for any dog and their owner, just pick a spot that doesn’t disturb other beachgoers
  • Walking along the shore allows your dog to experience new things like chasing seagulls, sniffing seaweed and maybe even seeing a crab or two. Watch out for their pincersJ.
  • Fetch in the water –for safety pick an area of shallow water and choose a brightly coloured floating toy your dog can spot in the waves.
  • Splashing through the waves is great fun, but again stay near the shore for safety.
  • Swimming is a fantastic activity for your dog, however if they are new to the water be patient and give them time to gain confidence maybe even provide a life jacket? Always supervise your dog insuring they don’t overtire or swim too far.
  • As you know most dogs love to dig. Again avoid crowded areas; no one wants sand all over them or their belongings.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new like canoeing or kayaking, great for any dog who likes agility games.

With every activity with your dog it is important to be a responsible dog owner. Your dog should not disturb other beachgoers and all animals should be supervised at all times for their safety.

Anywhere you bring your dog has hazards and the beach is no exception so please be careful.

  • Heatstroke – provide your dog with plenty of shade and rest. Avoid the beach when the sun is strong.
  • Dogs can suffer sunburn, so apply a sun-safe sunscreen on your dogs’ nose, ears and any areas of light fur.
  • Dogs can easily dehydrate so plenty of cool water to drink. Sea water is a no as it will cause your dog to become ill.
  • Prevent your dog from eating sand as it can cause impaction of the intestines.
  • Stick to safe swim areas. Watch out for the red and yellow flags.
  • Watch out for jellyfish – stings can be very painful so for advice contact your vet straight away.
  • Hot sand can burn your dogs paw pads. Consider walking along the water’s edge if your feel the sand is very hot.
  • Never ever leave your dog alone in the car while you’re entering or exiting the beach. Temperatures in the car can rise dramatically in just a few minutes which can be fatal to your pet.
  • Protect wild life – some beaches have areas where wildlife sis protected watch out for signs.
  • Give them a bath – Like yourself your dog needs a rinse when home from the beach to remove any sand that might irritate the skin.

We are extremely lucky to have so many beautiful beaches.  However some beaches now have rules when it comes to animals so please suss them out before bringing your dog to avoid disappointment. Check out petfriendlyireland.com for more info.

Other websites you might find helpful before you visit the beach:

beaches.ie
watersafety.ie

 

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