Taking your puppy to the beach can be a great adventure, but it's important to make sure that you do it safely. There are a ton of variables to consider and it's critical that you make sure your puppy is properly prepared for this experience.
Let’s discuss everything you need to know about taking your furry friend to the beach for an enjoyable and safe day of fun in the sun.
Puppies and Ocean / Beach Swimming: Wait Till They're Older
You might think that puppies and water are a fun idea. But not so fast.
Until they are at least 4 weeks old, ideally 6 or 8 weeks, puppies shouldn't even be washed. Dogs of this age have difficulty controlling their body temperatures and are more prone to freezing. While washing a pup with diarrhea may be necessary, the process itself might make the illness worse; it might even cause pneumonia. This information is corroborated by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
When a puppy is ready to begin swimming might depend on a number of different things. Considerations should be made for everything, including personality, grooming, and breed. Wait till your puppy is older before letting him attempt to swim if he appears fearful or doesn't want to.
At sixteen weeks (four months), you should be able to take your puppy to the beach. This, however, assumes they have had every immunization. Until your dog has had all of its vaccinations, do not take it to the beach. And don't let your dog in the ocean unless you know they're a strong, experienced swimmer.
Healthy Living Before the Beach
Vaccinations are key to almost everything happening in your young dog’s life. They help improve your dog’s immunity, preventing common diseases that puppies suffer from.
Your puppy's immunity will be boosted, enabling it to fight illnesses following exposure. Puppies are sensitive because they are still growing and their organs and bodies are unable to produce enough antibodies to effectively fight illnesses.
We’ve talked about how and when your pup can interact with cats in your house. Interacting with the outside world at places like the beach isn’t any different. Other dogs and animals of various types and ages are everywhere on the beach. While some of them are immunized, others are not. It would be impossible to tell who is and who isn't, so it's better to keep your tiny furry companion away from them.
The ASPCA has outlined all you need to know about general vaccines. But your first and best line of defense is your family vet.
Puppies Can Be Overwhelmed by the Big Blue
On the surface, your dog can have a lot of fun with water, but there are certain risks that lie under the surface that you should be aware of. For example, marine creatures.
Puppies are inquisitive animals. Jellyfish, mussels, starfish, and sea urchins all contain toxins that can be harmful to your dog if they are licked or eaten. Massive coastal algae blooms known as red tides pose a serious threat to both humans and pets. So avoid the water if there are any warning indications.
Even if your dog is able to swim, the tides are too strong for them.
To ensure that you are constantly close, you should keep your puppy on a short leash. You can save your puppy and protect it from the onslaught when the waves and tides come in quickly.
On calm days, dogs that have never been in the water should be exposed to the waves. The water's first pushing and pulling can be unnerving, and even the tiniest wave can lead dogs to lose their balance and tumble.
Dogs are adept swimmers by nature, and when they can do it with such ease, they soon pick up on how to deal with wave motion. You might not think that your dog needs a life jacket, but you shouldn't dismiss the idea before giving it a go. It could help save their life.
Having Fun with Your Puppy at the Beach
The beach is a great place for you and your puppy to get some fresh air and exercise. Puppies love the sand, surf, and sun and thrive in such an environment. Whether playing fetch or just taking in the scenery, your pup can enjoy a day of exploration and fun.
Additionally, the beach provides an opportunity for socializing with other furry friends. Pups will love the chance to make a new playmate in a safe and supervised setting. Just be sure to watch your pup at all times to prevent any potential health risks associated with being around unfamiliar animals or other hazards such as sharp objects in the sand.
To be safe, make sure you are familiar with any signs or warnings along the beach or trails. Additionally, keep a close eye on your pup while they explore. You may want to bring a towel to dry off afterward, and it’s wise to include some puppy-safe insect repellent if mosquitoes are present.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of drinking water for both yourself and your pup, as it's important that dehydration doesn't occur. The hot summer sun can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Remember to check the temperature of the sand too, as it is often scorching during peak hours.
When You're at the Beach, Clean Up After Your Dog
As a dog owner, it’s important to always clean up after your pup when you’re out on walks. Not only is it a courtesy to other park-goers, but it also helps keep the environment clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. When visiting any public place, it is important to practice safety measures such as disposing of trash in provided bins and avoiding overcrowded areas.
There are plenty of products available that make cleaning up after your pup quick, easy, and mess-free. Whether you’re looking for an automatic pooper scooper or biodegradable poop bags, make sure you’re properly equipped for cleaning up after your pup at the beach!
Taking your puppy to the beach can be a great adventure and a wonderful way to bond with your furry friend. However, it's important to make sure that you take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety. By preparing ahead of time, doing your research, bringing the proper supplies, and understanding any local regulations on beaches, you can ensure that you and your pup have a safe and fun adventure together.
Jenna and the JLDD Team