It’s summertime, and that means the sea is calling! Whether you are staying for a day or a month, visiting the beach is a summer must-do. But what if you want to bring your furry family member along with you? Maybe you got a new puppy this year, or you are finally deciding your dear canine’s companionship is worth the trouble. How can you plan so your beach vacation is enhanced by your pet’s presence? Here are some things you can do so both you and your dog can have the time of your lives this summer.
While many places are dog-friendly, it is always good to double-check beforehand. Having to change plans or reservations at the last minute because there was a fine-print guideline you weren’t aware of is definitely something you want to avoid on a relaxing vacation. Call ahead and ask questions regarding your dog’s size, the duration of your stay, and any cleaning deposits that may be required. See if there is a hose and spigot to wash the beach off your dog when you are done playing in the water. If searching everything yourself seems overwhelming, start by asking other dog owners you know about their recommendations. It may take a little more work initially, but once you find a good place, it will give you peace of mind for the rest of your planning, and it will allow you to rest during your vacation.
Speaking of planning your vacation, have you considered how the location might affect your puppy? A hot tropical or desert destination might be hard for your dog to adjust to if your dog is a shaggy Saint Bernard adapted to the snow. Conversely, a miniature greyhound is short-haired with little body fat to keep warm so an Oregon coast vacation could get chilly, especially at night. Does this mean you shouldn’t travel to these locations? Certainly not! Take precautions so your furry child’s adjustment can be as smooth as possible. Try altering the temperature of your dog’s drinking water.
If it’s a warm climate, consider shaving off some extra fur and taking walks in the cooler morning and evening temperatures. You can protect yourself from the sun with sun protective swimwear, but your pup might need an umbrella for shade and a blanket so paws aren’t scorched by the sand. For those canines with short hair, dog sunscreen might be the way to go. On the other hand, if it is a colder climate, get blankets your dog can snuggle in when sleeping and take walks in the mid-afternoon. Paying attention can help ensure your dog enjoys your beach vacation as much as you do.
Your dog is going to a new location. This may be the first time he or she has ever traveled. There will be new sights to see, new smells to follow, and new friends to make. So many new things are exciting, but as a dog parent, you know not all new things are good. In the midst of all the novelty, you want to know your dog will listen to you and not run off into danger. Not all sights should be seen up close, not all scents should be followed to their source, and not all new dogs are friendly. Keep your furry family member safe by ensuring he or she will pay attention to you in the heat of the moment, especially if you know your pup will be off-leash.
When done packing your bathing suits and beach coverups, you need to pack for your canine companion. Will you be bringing food, or is there a place where you are going where you can buy good, healthy dog food? What about doggy bags? Some dog-friendly locations provide them, but not all. A proper leash and a collar that won’t accidentally slip off into the water are also important to remember. Things to chew might also be helpful if your baby is at that age so all furniture is protected. Balls and frisbees should also be packed so you can play and bond with your dog at this new location. Towels to dry off at the end of the day and splash mats for the car are helpful, as well as bringing dog shampoo so sand isn’t a perpetual companion could be a good move.
With these ideas, you can avoid the challenges, maximize the fun, and be ready to make this the best beach vacation with your dog ever!