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Everything you need to know about taking your dog to the beach

There's nothing better than a summer's day when you bundle into the car and head

to the beach. Whether you're going for a walk, for fun, or just to chill out, there's

something magical about the sound of the waves lapping upon the sand.

And when you're heading to the beach this summer, don't forget to take your dog!

Most dogs love a day trip to the beach. It's a place they can run and play, cool off

and spend time with you.

But, if you've never taken your dog to the beach before, there are a few things you

need to know to make it an enjoyable day (for you and your dog).

This handy guide will cover my top tips for keeping your dog safe on their first (or

second or third) trip to the beach.

The top 7 tips for taking your dog to the beach this summer

Before you hit the sand and water with your furbaby this summer, here are my top

tips to prepare for a fun day out.

1. Choose a dog-friendly beach

Before you hit the beach, look up the local council rules to make sure you're

allowed to take your dog. Some beaches will have set times for dogs to play

freely on the beach (off-leash), others may have set on-leash only times, and

some may have free access without restrictions.

Another thing to consider is how your dog will react at an off-leash beach. For

example, will they:

  • Return to you when you call

  • Play nicely with other dogs without being aggressive

  • Get startled if another dog comes running at them

  • Enjoy the open space, or will the look of the vast water frighten them

  • Be calm and stay with you rather than running over to little children or

2. Check the beach for dangerous items

One of the unfortunate things about a beach is that people can often leave

things lying around or buried in the sand. Once you've chosen the spot you're

going to set up on the beach, do a quick comb-over of the sand to check for

any dangerous items that may harm you or your dog.

Look for items such as:

  • Broken glass

  • Used needles

  • Rocks or coral

  • Fishing hooks or wire

  • General rubbish (e.g. leftover food, discarded cigarette butts etc.)

3. Make sure your dog can swim (and be prepared to go with them)

Some dogs take to the water like a duck! They'll run in and instinctively know

how to paddle away to keep themselves afloat (dogs like Labs are brilliant at

this!). But not all dogs can swim, so you shouldn't assume your dog will know

how to.

Before you go to the beach, you could take your dog to local dog swimming

lessons, or if you've got a pool, take them in with you. If you're unsure if your

dog can swim:

  • Keep them on a leash

  • Go in the water with them, holding them as they go in

  • Don't force it on them (some dogs are scared of vast amounts of water)

  • Encourage them to stay close to you, using a ball for a game of fetch in

4. Don't go in the water if it's too choppy

Depending on the beach you choose, you may find the water is too choppy

for your dog (or you) to swim safely. Bayside beaches tend to be a lot calmer.

Beaches can become choppy with rips and tides, larger waves and boats or

jet skis whizzing past. You'll also need to keep an eye out for boarders who

may be surfing the waves (you don't want your dog knocked out by an

unsuspecting surfer coming down from a wave!).

If your dog is a beginner, opt for a calmer, bayside beach, and if needed,

pop them in a dog life vest to help keep them afloat.

5. Take fresh water, a shade tent & remember the sunscreen

One thing is almost guaranteed when you're at the beach – your dog is going

to try and drink the salt water. It's in your best interest to stop them doing this,

as they'll end up with diarrhoea and an upset stomach if you don't.

To overcome this, make sure you've got an ample supply of fresh water for

them to drink. Remember to take a bowl or pick up a doggy travel bottle

that's filled with fresh water.

To stay SunSmart, you should also:

  • Remember that dogs can also get sunburnt (and skin cancer), so apply

  • Pop a sun shirt on your dog (especially if they have light skin or short hair)

  • Attend the beach in the cooler parts of the day

  • Protect their paws from hot sand with dog booties

  • Take a shade tent, so you've got a safe space for them to relax with you

6. Wash off your dog afterwards

Take extra towels! Your dog is going to be a bit messy after the day at the

beach. Even if they haven't swam in the salt water, they'll be covered with

sand and any other beach messes they've picked up (e.g. rolling in


Many beaches will have a tap to rinse off, or you can take some extra bottles

of water. Rinse your dog off and towel them dry. If you don't want a wet dog

in your car, make sure you bathe them as soon as you get home, but give

them a quick brush over before you leave the beach to remove excess sand.

If left on your dog for too long, sand and salt may cause skin irritation,

especially if your dog's skin is sensitive, which will make them super itchy.

7. Pick up their poop

As you would when you're out walking, you must take some doggy poop

bags to pick up after your dog. Some beaches may have these handy in the

carpark or at the entrance to the beach, so keep an eye out for them.

Not only is doggy poop yuck for anyone to step in at the beach, but if it's left,

it may become an issue for fish and wildlife. So, pick up their poop and do

your part to help keep our beaches clean for preventable water and soil


Looking for pet walking or minding services this summer?

If you're working during the summer, I'm available to take your dog on a walk, pop

over to feed them, and check on them or mind them while you're away.

Here's a list of all my services.

You can book a pet minding service online, including dog walking and pet sitting,

using my online booking form.

And here are a couple of my other blogs you may be interested in reading:

Until next time, pat your fur babies for me!


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