Going to the beach never gets old, and whether it’s your first time or your one-hundredth time, it is set to be a day full of smiles, playing in the sand and the sea, and running around dribbling with excitement...and the dog will have fun too.
Having fun is one thing, but doing it safely is another. So here are a few how-tos for behaviour, safety and fun.
Make sure you have established a reliable recall command. A trip to the beach is likely to present more distractions and excitement than your dog is used to, so it helps to work on recall and focus.
High-value rewards/treats (not kibble or their usual food!) will be useful to get your dog's attention when necessary. Bribery is legal with pets.
The beach may have lots of people and dogs on it, there also will be varying tides which may require caution. If it’s likely that your dog will become over-excited and out of control (we have all been there!), a long line/lead (30m or 50m) will allow your dog more freedom and you more peace of mind!
Dehydration is never fun. When have you ever been dehydrated and had a good time? Never. Sea water isn’t good for dogs to drink, so make sure you pack a bowl and a big supply of fresh drinking water for your puppy (and yourself) - hydration is key to happiness!
Dogs (like us) can get hungry with all their running around and playing in the sea, so make sure you have food, snacks and treats to give them to stop them from grazing on the beach! After all, it is better for them to snack on one of your homemade sandwiches than it is for them to snack on the sand, which is not so good for their insides.
Take an umbrella for shade - dogs can’t sweat like we do, so you need to make sure they can get enough shade to cool down, especially as the sand/pebbles can get really hot. Rule of thumb: if you can’t keep your hands on the ground for more than 10 seconds, it’s too hot for their paws!
Dogs love balls of all sizes. But an easy-to-carry, fun-to-use ball on the beach is a tennis ball (or equally floaty ball). Throw the ball into the sea for a run/swim combo fetch (disclaimer: don’t do this with huge waves and/or if your dog can’t swim!).
Reason #342 on why the beach is better than a garden: however many holes your dog digs, and however deep or wide they stretch, the sea will go over them at high tide and remove all evidence!
Some dogs love to catch small waves like they’re body surfing. But, don’t let them steal ALL the fun. Give them a hug and use them as a bodyboard. If your dog has large ears, hold on to them for extra speed.
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