There’s nothing like heading for the coast with your dog on a sunny day. With acres of open space to run around, plus the blue seas to take a swim to cool off, a day at the beach with your dog can be a magical summer memory for both of you. But unless you take the right precautions, including dog obedience training, that dream day can easily turn into a nightmare.

It is essential to plan your day properly before you leave, take the right steps while you are there, and to end the day in the right way, because if you don’t, your dog could suffer and may even be at risk of fatal complications.

Preparing for a day at the beach

You need to plan for a day at the beach with your dog just like you would for yourself or your kids. Here are just a few of the things you need to think about in advance:

  • Research the beach before you go to make sure it is dog friendly and safe
  • Be aware of any nesting sites nearby so you can make sure your dog doesn’t disturb the birds
  • Bring plenty of fresh water to stop them drinking the salty seawater
  • Pack treats and food to discourage them from eating whatever they find in the sand
  • Invest in doggy sunscreen to avoid sunburn
  • Take a tent, parasol or folding table to provide a shady spot out of the sun

Keeping them safe while they play

Your dog will love to explore an open beach, but there are a number of dangers that you need to be vigilant about if your dog is to play safely. For example:

  • Make sure your dog can swim before they go in the sea and avoid strong waves and rip tides
  • Make sure they don’t eat dead fish, palm oil or jelly fish, as these can be highly toxic
  • Look out for dangerous objects on the beach, such as broken bottles, fishing tackle or rusty cans buried in the sand
  • Keep them away from sandbanks and mudflats as they can easily get stranded when the tide comes in
  • Watch out for heat exhaustion and over exertion. Running on sand is hard work and they can tire very quickly

When you get home

At the end of your beach adventure, you need to rinse off your dog with clean, fresh water to prevent them ingesting sand and salt through grooming. You should also look out for any signs of sand impaction. Dogs can often swallow large quantities of sand when digging or fetching a sandy ball and this can cause a blockage in the intestines. If your dog starts vomiting or appears dehydrated and uncomfortable, seek help from your vet as soon as possible.

Get your dog trained

With so much excitement, yet so many potential dangers, it is vital that you are in complete control of your dog on the beach. Fully trained dogs are much easier to control and keep safe, and the recall they learn through dog obedience training will stop them from spoiling the enjoyment of other beach users. A&T can help turn your pooch into a fully trained dog, or better still, you can buy trained dogs that come to you ready for anything, including a day out at the beach.

With the right dog training, careful planning and a little extra awareness on the day, there is no reason why a day at the beach shouldn’t be both exciting and safe for you and your dog.