We all know that painful feeling when you step onto hot sand with bare feet. It’s not nice and we try and avoid it by wearing flip-flops and towels. Our dogs love the beach, though they are not immune to having their paws burnt as well. Dogs feel the hot sand just like we do, and the pads on their paws can get badly burnt.
The same is true for walking on black asphalt. If you are walking your dog on a black surface on a sunny day, it is sure to hurt their pads.
This is not to say stop taking your dog to the beach! It is a great place for dogs to be, just make sure that you take appropriate measures for their safety, and water on hand at all times.
It is also wise to bring along dog booties for your pet to wear. These not only protect against the heat, but help maintain a firmer grip on any rocks they may be walking over. You can also buy special dog sunscreen for those with less hair. Dogs with longer hair have that coat of protection from the sun naturally.
Set a time limit for your beach trip. A couple hours might be just the right amount of time at the beach, depending on your dog’s activity level. At the first sign of your dog tiring, pack it up and get back on the road. The ideal times to take your dog to the beach are early morning and late afternoon. Avoid being at the beach between 12 and 4pm. At this time the sun is highest in the sky so little shade will be available.
Pay attention to how your dog is acting and responding while he’s with you throughout the day, since there could be the potential of heat stroke. Sign to look out for are:
- Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
- Increased body temperature – above 103° F (39° C)
- Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body.
- Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine
The beach can be a fantastic place for you and your dog to bond and have fun. To have the best time, keep it safe.