Raise your hand if you love taking your pup to the beach!
The beach and summer go to together like a fluffy doodle and a slo-mo video, and what better company to have at the beach than your four-legged best friend? Mabel and I are fortunate enough to live 15 minutes from a huge dog beach, so we make sure to take advantage of this. Most weeks, we are at the beach two or three times because that is our favorite place to get outside and run around!
Since Mabel and I (as well as all of our temporary pups) are such frequent flyers at the beach, we wanted to share some tips we have to help you all have a fun and safe summer trip.
POOP BAGS, POOP BAGS, AND MORE POOP BAGS
I don’t know what it is about the beach, but May doesn’t leave without doing at least two poos. This means that I always make sure to carry extra poop bags so I can do my part to keep the beach clean. This is especially important if you aren’t sure if the beach you are going to has poop bags for you to use.
HYDRATION IS KEY
If you are hanging out at the beach for a few hours (or more), it’s important to pack some water and a bowl for your dog in your beach bag. One trick we use for longer beach trips or hotter days is to freeze a water bottle that is 2/3 full the night before so Mabel can have some cool water at the beach. If your dog isn’t given the opportunity to drink fresh water, they may start gulping up the ocean water which can upset their tummies and ruin your fun day. Try taking a water break every 15 minutes or so on those hot days to help your pup stay hydrated.
DON’T FORGET THE TREATS
The beach can be a great place to work on training with your dog. It’s always good to introduce new commands and tricks in a familiar and not over-stimulating environment (typically a quiet room at your home) so your dog can focus on the task at hand. Once they’ve gotten the basics of a command down in that type of a setting, bring them to the beach to add distractions, like Mabel and I do! We practice the staples every beach trip (sit, stay, come, leave it, wait, etc.). Working on these skills consistently has made beach trips even more relaxing because I trust Mabel to come when she has run off chasing a bird, to leave a washed up animal or a family eating a picnic, and do automatic check-ins with me instead of darting way ahead and not looking back.
KEEP THEIR ID ON HAND
I always make sure to leave Mabel’s collar and name tag on at the beach (even if it means getting a few extra mats from her collar or her neck getting wet) in case she were to ever get away from me or get lost.
SANDY CAR? NO THANK YOU
A happy beach dog means a sandy beach dog. I use a hammock style car seat cover in my car to help contain the copious amounts of sand Mabel and her siblings are bound to bring into the car (doodle hair is a sand magnet). Once home, all I do is use a little hand broom and sweep all the sand off the seat cover for an easy cleanup!
BEAT THE HEAT
A lot of the time we think of going to the beach to cool off on a hot day. Ideally, that’s a great idea, but sand can get really hot and hurt our pup’s (and our) feet, and dogs can get heat stroke if they’re in the direct hot sunlight for extended periods of time. My favorite time to go to the beach is during the early morning or at sunset because it’s a lot cooler and I won’t have to worry about May getting overheated. If you do choose to “beat the heat” in the middle of the day, make sure to check the sand before letting you pup walk on it. If it’s too hot for you to walk on with your bare feet, then your dog shouldn’t walk on it either. You can put some dog booties on your pup or just carry them to the cooler wet sand. I would also suggest bringing a towel or blanket for your dog to lay on, and an umbrella to provide shade if you are spending an extended amount of time at the beach.
All this beach talk is making me want to get out there with my girl! I hope you and your pup have as much fun at the beach as these kiddos do! What are some of your favorite things to do at the beach with your pup?
Do you have any additional tips for taking on the beach with your pup?