Summer temps have been insanely hot this year. Finding a spot where you can cool down with your best friend might be one of the best uses of your time.
If you are lucky enough to live near a beach that allows dogs, then please try not to gloat. Whether it’s the ocean or a large lake (and yes, that counts too, dear coastal readers) there are some things you will want to make sure you have with you on your visit:
- Towels, plural. You need one for yourself to lie on the sand. Then one for the dog because he is not going to share yours nicely. You’ll need one for drying yourself off and another for drying off the dog (and cleaning out ears). Then you need one to protect the seat for the car ride home. That’s a lot of towels, I know. Fortunately there are linen sales all year long, and if your family is anything like mine, you still have your Jaws beach towel from 1975. Stuff them into a nice big bag and enjoy the day.
- Sunscreen This is for you and the dog. Those of us who are either pale or bright pink know how important this is. Sunscreens and sunblocks are non-negotiable. And you can get them for your pup as well! Check out our sunscreen for dogs, and make sure that it doesn’t have zinc oxide in it.
- Poop bags. Do not be that person who forgets, but be the nice person who offers one to the person who does. At this point, everything you own should have a poop bag tied to it or stuffed in it.
- Water You’ll be hot and sweaty while the dog will be hot and panting. Serious dehydration can lead to illness, mild dehydration can lead to headaches and crankiness. Why spoil a fun day at the beach? Back a few water bottles and a collapsible bowl for the dog.
- Bug spray – Lakes attract bugs, so to keep your sanity, have a good human bug spray for yourself, and consider starting a solid flea/tick treatment early in the season. After any swimming, check your pups for any critters that may have jumped on the fur-boat. Ears and armpits will need some extra checks.
- A leash Your dog is wonderful. Your dog does what he is told. But there might be a canine jerk who shows up and gets him riled up turning him into a reactive beast who can’t stop yelling about politics – hey, it happens to the best of us. Honestly, unless your dog is very old and slow, a new environment with varying visitors can be exciting and over-stimulating. Have a leash ready for those reactive moments. You don’t need a good day spoiled, and you don’t need your dog barging into somebody else’s picnic.
Always keep an eye on your pup. There are loads of exciting things to explore, and he needs to be with you as he does that. Be aware of car traffic and children and other dogs. It shouldn’t be stressful, but it is a responsibility on all dog owners who take their pups to public places to keep their dog under control. These days ought to create some of the best memories for you and your pooch. Being prepared can make it that much more special.