We all love to take our 4-legged best friend with us on summer holiday especially if we’re going to the beach! Running through the surf, chasing a ball, catching a frisbee, fetching a stick, or going swimming – the beach is the perfect place to spend quality time with our dog! As dog owners, we share the beach with everyone so it’s important to observe proper Beach Petiquette.
BEFORE THE BEACH:
• HEATSTROKE is deadly for dogs – know the signs and what to do, know where your nearest local vet is located in case of an emergency
• Find a dog friendly beach as not all beaches allow dogs
• Go in the cooler parts of the day to ensure you keep your dog safe and cool. Be mindful of the temperature before you race out onto the sand … if it’s too hot for your bare feet then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws so consider leaving your dog at home!
TOP 10 TIPS
1. TRAIN THE BASICS before you go to the beach!
If you don’t have good voice control – leash up! Longlines are a great option.
• Come / Recall – this is CRITICAL
• Leave it – it’s not cool to allow your dog to snoop in people’s things, not to mention sometimes the ocean gives up its secrets and some of those things can be rather nasty to dogs like fish hooks, blue bottles, or toxic sea slugs.
• Sit / Down / Wait / Stay – are all useful
2. BE PREPARED with the essentials:
• Fresh water
• And, if you’re planning on being out all day then shade, bowl, snacks, sunscreen and paw protection (just in case)
3. KNOW THE RULES – check local by-laws about leashing up, timing, curfew and access – most beaches have signage check first!
4. PICK UP THE POOP – bag it, then either bin it or take it with you
5. KEEP YOUR EYES ON YOUR DOG – Be aware of your surroundings, be proactive, supervise – have a fun time playing with your dog after all that’s why you brought them to the beach with you … right?
6. SWIM TOGETHER – teach your dog to wade in with you and wade out, take it slowly, don’t force it and have fun! It’s great for burning off those extra covid calories too! Make sure you’ve trimmed their nails before you go – you don’t want them reaching out to you for support with long nails!
7. BE CONSIDERATE – sharing the beach is a privilege so be courteous to others who may not be comfortable around dogs – we’re super lucky here in NZ to have loads of room on our beaches so be respectful and give people space. Not everyone likes a doggy shower!
8. RESPECT THE LEASH – give the leashed up dog and their owner some space – there are many reasons why a dog could be on leash; recovery from surgery/injury, no recall, in training, or their final farewell walk …. Take your leash with you – never know when you might need it!
9. BE OBSERVANT – know your dog and their body language – not all dogs are super social some just like to be with their people – learn to read their signals and avoid challenging situations for your dog before they happen. It’s ok to say no … your dog doesn’t have to socialise with every other dog on the beach
10. WILDLIFE & ENVIRONMENT – it only takes one mistake to damage a habitat and the consequences could be no more dogs on beaches and no-one wants that so keep clear of the protected areas
TIME TO GO:
• Allow a little bit of time before you jump in your car to leave to avoid a messy clean up! Most dogs ingest a lot of salty sea water especially when swimming … what goes in must come out and the results can be dramatic …
• Rinse your dog off thoroughly with fresh water to prevent any itchiness or irritation caused by salt and sand in their coat.
Be a responsible dog owner, set a good example for others and lets ensure everyone has a fantastic fun time at the beach this summer!!