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Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Beach

March 1, 2016

One of the best things about Florida is that you’re never too far from a beach. If you plan on including your canine companion on your next beach run, use these tips from a Fort Myers, FL veterinarian to make sure he stays safe and sound.

Sunscreen and Shade

Just like us, dogs can get sunburnt. It’s especially likely to occur on areas where the skin is exposed, like the tip of the nose or edges of the ears. Apply a canine-formulated sunscreen—available at pet supply stores and certain retail outlets—to prevent painful burns.

Don’t forget to include space under your beach umbrella for Fido. In addition to sunburn, heat exhaustion can occur if your pooch stays out in the sun for too long. Offer a shady spot for him to cool off under.

Fresh Water

Although there’s an ocean of water in front of you and your dog, it’s not safe for him to drink from it. The salt will only irritate your pooch’s mouth and stomach, potentially causing vomiting. There’s also a high risk of contaminants entering your pet’s system. Pack a thermos of cool, fresh water just for your dog, and offer him sips from it on a regular basis. You can also bring along your dog’s water dish and leave it under the shade of the umbrella.

Stay in the Shallows

It’s a good idea to accompany your dog into the water if he plans on swimming; even dogs who are experienced swimmers can be caught off guard by ocean currents. Even more frightening, deadly riptides are a danger the farther out you get—it’s safest to remain in the shallows, where your dog can enjoy the ocean without unnecessary risk.

Consider using dog floatation devices if your dog’s isn’t a good swimmer but still wants to enjoy the ocean. These are available at some retail outlets and many pet supply shops.

Rinse the Coat Off

When your beach day is over, don’t forget to rinse out your dog’s coat thoroughly with fresh water from the hose or bathtub. Leaving sand and salt in the coat will dry out the skin, leading to irritation and shedding.

Want a recommendation on a canine sunscreen? Looking for more helpful tips to keep your dog safe during your next vacation or family beach day? Call your Fort Myers, FL animal hospital today for help from the professionals.

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