TAKING YOUR GREYHOUND TO THE BEACH
Whether your Greyhound is still a puppy or a seasoned traveler, taking your dog to a dog friendly beach can be an ideal way to spend a summer day. For the right dog, the beach can provide new sights, sounds, and smells to experience as well as opportunities for exciting games. However, there are doggie dangers too. Maximize your fun by trying these activities and watching for these hazards.
What’s the secret to a successful beach trip with your dog? Like any good vacation, it starts with good planning—and packing.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
While it might seem obvious, first make sure your planned destination is dog-friendly (dogs OK on a leash) or a dog beach (dogs OK and can be off-leash).
Friends are a good source of information or start your search here https://www.bringfido.com/attraction/beaches/region/united_states/
Ask yourself which is the best option for your Greyhound. Dog beaches are a good fit for dogs who enjoy dog parks and all the social interaction that goes along with off-leash play. If you or your dog are more comfortable in a more controlled setting, dog-friendly beaches are better. Do some checking before you book your getaway (a quick call to the destination’s parks department will usually fetch you the current regulations). You will want to know the days and hours. On some crowded beaches, especially on the East Coast, look for limited dog-friendly hours during peak summer season.
Keep an eye out for dog‐related signs when you get there. Most dog‐friendly beaches have signs that notify pet parents this is a spot for the whole family! If your pup is allowed, be sure to follow any leash rules. Most dog‐friendly beaches allow your pet to run free but may ask that dogs be leashed during certain times of the day or high‐tide. When in doubt, it's best to ask around or read up before you go to understand the rules.
Even a few incidents and complaints can mean a dog-friendly beach one season becomes an off-limits beach the next summer. If your beach destination requires a leash, it may be due to crowds, wildlife, or dangers like car traffic on the beach, situations where leashes keep your dog and everyone else safe.
And always, always pick up after your dog.
WHAT TO BRING
Pets love joining in on all the fun during a beach day, but with high heat, they will need to stay hydrated and have a shady place to relax out of the direct sun. Keep your pup safe and entertained by packing essential items like balls, frisbees, and treats, plus items like sunscreen and a towel for you and old towels to dry your pooch, plus you’ll need to include ample water for both of you. You can use liter soda bottles (freeze one). Don’t let your dog drink salt water. Encourage your dog to drink fresh water before and during every beach visit. So a water bowl is essential to bring along, and a collapsible drinking bowl is nice for beach walks.
Doggy sunblock can also be a useful addition to your beach bag, particularly for short-haired and light-coated Greyhounds. If you’re thinking of spreading out a towel on the beach for a while, a shade shelter or umbrella will help your dog stay cool in the hot sun. Don’t forget extra poop bags and trash bags.
The other thing you can do to prepare your dog for a walk on the beach is to make sure they’re properly trained. Not only does this mean socializing them with people and other pets, but also teaching them skills like loose-leash walking, coming when called, and staying calm around strangers. This will stand them in good stead for all your seaside adventures.
There are so many opportunities for new activities at the beach. Here are some fun things to try on your next beach outing:
Go for a walk. Explore the shore and let your dog soak in the new experiences like sniffing seaweed, watching scuttling crabs, or chasing seagulls. Again, no drinking that water!
Play fetch on the beach with a ball or flying disc. Just be sure to choose a quiet spot so your dog’s enthusiasm for the game doesn’t disturb other beachgoers. This may not be the best choice for Greyhounds, unless your houndie retrieves. Mine stop chasing the thing once it’s not moving any more!
Go swimming. Don’t assume your dog is an automatic swimmer, and take it nice and easy. Water that’s busy with large waves, boats, boards, or jet skis can scare your dog, so try to find an area with calm water. If it’s your dog’s first time in the water, he may be tentative about jumping right in. Consider easing into things – maybe just splash in shallow water and don’t go deeper than they can stand. If your dog is a novice swimmer, keep him safe at the beach with a practical (and adorable) dog life vest. You’ll enjoy your beach day even more knowing your dog has that extra protection. Just remember all dogs need constant supervision to ensure they don’t overtire or swim too far from shore.
Play in the sand. This is great for dogs who love to dig. Alternatively, you can build sandcastles and then let your dog destroy them.
Whatever activities you decide to pursue, always supervise your dog. It’s important for your dog’s safety, but it’s also part of responsible dog ownership. Don’t let your dog disturb wildlife, damage vegetation, or become a nuisance to other people or dogs on the beach.
The following list will help you know what to watch for at the beach:
Watch for heatstroke. Provide your dog with shade and plenty of chances to rest. You might also limit your beach visits to early or late in the day when the sun isn’t as strong.
Provide lots of fresh water. Your dog can easily dehydrate in the heat of summer, so frequently offer cool water to drink.
Prevent your dog from eating sand. It can block your dog’s intestines causing an impaction.
Speak to a lifeguard about the water conditions. Situations such as rough waves or strong currents can make the water too dangerous for your dog.
Be on the lookout for dangerous sea animals that could be near the shore like stingrays and jellyfish. The tentacles can produce a nasty sting even after they are dead.
Avoid hot sand. Especially midday, sand can get blisteringly hot and can burn your dog’s paw pads. Consider booties to protect their feet or stick to walking along the water’s edge. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your Greyhound’s paws.
Keep a look out for dangerous items. Be aware that all sorts of items can be partially or fully hidden in the sand. Broken glass, rocks, hooks, coral, and garbage can pose a danger to your dog. If your pup decides to eat something they shouldn’t, you need to be ready to stop them before they can get themselves into any trouble.
Fresh water lakes and reservoirs pose a possible threat from Cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae). These are microscopic organisms that can be found naturally in all types of water, but most commonly fresh water, and they produce toxins that are poison to animals. Sometimes they rapidly grow out of control, or bloom. It can be deadly if your pup drinks any of it. If you see any of the following, play it safe and avoid that water.
It's always fun to watch our pets run around and enjoy the fresh air. But with all the commotion that a busy day at the beach can bring, your pals can easily get distracted by the water or run off with other pups. Never leave your pets unattended by the water, and for extra security, microchip and make sure the registration is up to date.
Finally, when it’s time to head home, give them a thorough rinse and towel-dry, whether you’ve been hanging out in salt or fresh water. This will keep your car clean and prevent skin irritations for your pooch at the same time. If your dog’s skin is especially sensitive, the salt and sand can cause serious itching. A quick and simple rinse is all it takes to keep your furry friend fresh and odor-free.
A fun day at the beach depends on preparation by everyone. Keep these tips in mind so you and your dog can experience an unforgettable day and make memories that will last a lifetime.
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