Jersey shore beaches are fun, but they can be even better if you bring your four-legged friend! It’s important to be prepared and careful to make sure your day at the beach with your pooch goes off without a hitch. Here are some tips on taking your dog to the Jersey Shore.
At the Beach
Keep your dog in the shade so they don’t overheat or get sunburnt (Yes, that can happen even if your dog is furry.). Umbrellas will do in a pinch, but it’s best to bring a tent with ample space for you and your dog to hang out together. Better yet, find a pavilion or shaded picnic area so that the ground beneath the shade is already cooled when you get there. If you’re wearing flip flops or water shoes, you might not be aware of how hot the sand is. If it can burn your own feet, it can hurt or even burn your dog.
Keep your dog hydrated. Bring a cool water bottle and offer it to your dog as much as possible so that they don’t get too thirsty and try to drink saltwater, which can cause vomiting or a laxative effect. A bowl will make it easier for your dog to drink the water.
Look out for choppy waves. This water can throw your dog around and make drowning a serious possibility. It might scare your dog and prevent them from entering the water or worse, cause a panic attack while they’re swimming that makes them unable to stay afloat. Rip currents are as much of a risk for dogs as they are for humans.
Also look out for dangerous objects in the sand and surf. Broken glass, shells, sharp rocks, bottle caps, and medical supplies can cut your dog and cause an infection. Stepping on wildlife usually hurts them more than it hurts your dog but no one wants to deal with a pinch from a crab, a prick from a sea urchin, or a sting from a jellyfish, including your dog. It’s unlikely, but also look out for shark fins. You can tell them apart from dolphins because they have straight dorsal fins as opposed to a dolphin’s curved one.
Keep your dog close to you and never let them out of your sight. The beach is full of distractions (and the occasional threat), so your dog could run off in an instant. A long leash is the perfect way to allow your dog freedom to roam without having to worry about them disappearing. Usually, the worst that happens is your dog is gone because they’ve found a new friend to play with, but better safe than sorry.
Be aware of other wildlife. Sand dunes are usually restricted from dogs because the wildlife there is protected. Tide pools also have small wildlife that your dog could easily step on and destroy. Be considerate of other dogs that may be aggressive, shy, or just too tired to play. But if another dog looks ready to play, let your dog off their leash, since that has been known to relieve aggression.
When meeting people, however, keep your dog on the leash. We hope you meet plenty of dog lovers on your day out, but there are some people who might be afraid of dogs. The leash gives them a sense of security and helps prevent your dog from jumping on or licking more timid beachgoers.
If you have doggie sunscreen, apply it to your dog’s ears, nose, the inside of their back legs, and groin if they like to lay on their back, Apply it for the first time 30 minutes before sun exposure and then after they get out of the water.
Time to Go
You know it’s time to go when your dog looks tired, for example, when they aren’t as energetic while swimming or running around. Also pack up for the day when your dog looks overheated. Signs of this include rapid panting, drooling, lack of coordination, diarrhea, vomiting, collapse, fainting, a bright red tongue, viscous saliva, and weakness. In general, dogs with shorter muzzles overheat faster, so be aware of that if you have a pug, English bulldog, or other short-muzzled breed.
Rinse off your dog when they’re done playing in the sand. The sand can irritate your dog’s skin and get all over your car, which is an annoyance. Make sure you dry your dog as well to alleviate that wet dog smell and prevent ear infections!
Finally, no one wants to dig in the sand and find dog poop! Make sure you clean up after your dog with a wastebag!
Thanks for reading our two-part guide on taking your dog to the Jersey shore! Follow these tips, and your doggie beach day should go swimmingly!