Ten tips for going coastal with your dog.
1. Seek out dog-friendly beaches and lodging, which routinely accommodate canine habits. You are responsible for your pet's behavior but a hospitable environment makes things easier and more comfortable.
2. Your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag. When traveling, get a waterproof tag with your cell phone number and lodging location just in case.
3. Remove a flea collar before the dog gets wet. A wet flea collar is useless and it may irritate your dog's skin.
4. Dogs can sunburn, especially if they have short hair or light skin. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15) to sensitive areas like the nose and ears prior to heading to the beach.
5. Make sure your dog can find a shady spot to escape the sun and heat. Take an umbrella or other shelter big enough for her to share with her favorite humans.
6. Consider taking your pet to the shore in the morning or evening when the sun is not so high and temperatures moderate a bit. Dogs can get overheated and suffer heat stroke.
7. Bring drinking water for your dog and offer it often. Collapsible bowls or special tray attachments for water bottles make canine hydration a breeze.
8. Some breeds love the water and will take to it like a duck. However, if this is your pup's first experience, acclimate her slowly. Never force your dog into the water, especially deep water. Watch for undercurrents and rip tides, and protect your pooch from these hazards. Boating dogs should be fitted with a canine life-vest.
9. In regards to flotsam, jetsam, and all things that wash up on the shore, dogs will likely think all is fair game. Keep Spot from eating or playing with things that might be toxic or dangerous to him. Fishing tackle, trash, and some fish may contain toxins or sharp edges as potential hazards.
10. Sand and salt water can irritate your best friend's paw pads. When you return from the shore, rinse sand and salt away with fresh water. Towel-dry ears to avoid infections.