5 Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

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The beach is fun, but it does come with hazards, such as ingesting questionable objects (and even ocean water), cuts and scrapes and even the potential for drowning.

Discourage your dog from drinking seawater by offering him fresh, cool, clean water, and by removing him from the water if you see him drink it. Seawater is a gastrointestinal irritant that can work as a laxative or cause vomiting.

Bring a first aid kit with you in case of cut paws or jellyfish stings. Include cotton balls, ammonia (for stings, dilute with water before applying), peroxide and bandages.

If your dog is a puppy, hasn't learned to swim well or is a brachycephalic or a short-legged breed, consider giving him a doggie life jacket to wear so that he doesn't overtire himself in the water. Always supervise any dog while he's in or near the water and be cautious of rip tides, sharks and deep water.

Salt water on a dog's skin and paws can be irritating, so a fresh-water rinse before leaving the beach or shortly after arriving home will help keep your dog comfy and his skin and coat healthy.

Finally, for your own peace of mind, bring a thick blanket and plenty of towels to line the car seat where your dog sits for the ride home. Your dog will probably fall asleep on the way home, your own reward for a fun, safe, happy beach day.

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