If your Beach Dog could talk – these are the 7 things they want you to know.

My beach dog Lucy and I spend a lot of time at the beach in all seasons but especially more when the weather is nice. Lucy is a fun loving, bird chasing, water-loving Beach Dog. We have lived for the past 20 years in the beautiful oceanside community of White Rock, British Columbia.  We’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way about what your beach dog wants you to know when taking him or her to the beach.

The Smellier The Better 

Our Golden Retriever Lucy loves to explore the beach with all its wonderful smells, the ocean, and the sand.  She can be in a full-blown sprint racing to the water’s edge when suddenly she stops dead in her tracks to stick her nose in the sand to investigate something new. As soon as I see this, I know what’s coming next. I know that no amount of hollering her name, throwing the ball in the other direction or trying to bribe her with healthy treats is going to get her attention.  Most likely what she has discovered is very stinky and usually very dead. Although I admire her focus, I know what’s coming next – she stops, she drops and she rolls her body all over this gloriously dead prize.

This type of behavior is a natural instinct for dogs and it isn’t unique to just yours. There are a few theories behind why dogs do this. I believe that Lucy is doing this to let everyone know that she’s found something exciting, dead and it’s hers! Ask your groomer about products that assist in reducing the smell on your dog’s coat as they can retain this smell for a number of months if not treated.

Yes we will try to drink Salt Water

Your dog will happily drink sea water usually because they don’t have access to fresh water and are thirsty. This will cause them to be dehydrated and sick. Dogs are unaware of how dangerous this can be for them so we need to be sure to bring fresh water as an option for your thirsty pup to drink.  There are a ton of lightweight collapsible bowls that you can carry with you for this purpose and give them a drink from your water bottle.  Our dog loves to drink from a hose so we give her a freshwater drink from the K9 Clean Portable Dog Shower while we rinse her off at the car.  The signs to watch for if you suspect your dog has had too much salt water are Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lack of Appetite, Lethargy or unstable on their feet appearing drunk.  Keep a close eye on your puppy!

Balls or Rocks…which is better?

If given the option, my dog prefers rocks.  She will spend minutes under the water searching for rocks to bring them to us. Although this is humorous to watch as she can be under the water with her butt in the air for almost a minute at a time – This is not a good thing.  Rocks can wreck your dog’s teeth or worse they can swallow the rocks causing serious if not fatal intestinal issues.  Be sure to bring your dog’s favorite ball with you to the beach to give her that healthier option and try to distract your pup from seeking out those rocks.

Rolling in the sand?  Yes Please!

One of the first things dogs do is find their spot and roll around happily in the sand. There are many theory’s on why dogs do this – I choose to believe the reason our dog Lucy does this is for one reason only.  Although she is a water dog, she hates being wet. The best way for her remedy the problem is to roll in the sand to dry off.  Another theory is that it keeps your dog cool. My daughter has an extremely fluffy Pomeranian and when having a hot day, he loves to dig a hole in the sand and make a comfortable bed to lie down in.  The earth a few layers under the sand is noticeably cooler and this helps keep your dog cool.

Golden Retriever Lucy Rolling In the Sand at White Rock Beach, British Columbia_ Dog Wash_Dog Shower

Golden Retriever Lucy Rolling In the Sand at White Rock Beach

Dog’s get Sunstroke Too

Heat exhaustion is a thing for both humans and dogs. Dogs eliminate heat by panting as well as through sweat glands in their feet. When panting isn’t enough, their body temperature rises.  This can be fatal if not corrected quickly.  What to watch for – increase in body temperature, excessive panting, excessive drooling. What you can do to prevent heat exhaustion is to run a cool shower over your pet, covering the whole body – especially the back of the head and neck.  The K9 Clean Portable Dog Shower is a great option for this.

Watch for those Strong Currents

This topic is one that doesn’t get enough attention and it is an important one.  When our Dog Lucy was about a year old, we took her to our usual watering hole at the beach.  This spot usually has a calm pool of water that branches off from the river just before it meets the ocean.  There we throw her ball in the water and she launches herself in to retrieve the ball.  This is her favorite thing to do at the beach and she races to get to this spot every visit.  On one particular night, we were unaware as to how strong the undercurrent was until it was too late. Her ball was thrown and the current picked it up and started carrying it down the river to meet the ocean.  Before we knew it, our puppy was swimming madly trying to get the ball back.  It was clear very quickly that this was a situation that was not going to end well if we didn’t move quickly.  Long story short and one very wet husband later, our puppy was safe on shore (without the ball).

Lucy happens to be a very strong swimmer but nature is no match for puppies and often times people as well.  Dogs that are good swimmers can be overwhelmed by current so be sure to keep a close eye on your pup!  Be aware of the ocean tides and familiarize yourself with the area. To introduce your dog to water, start off in a quiet area with calm water to see how your dog reacts. Remember, not all dogs can or like to swim!

Post Beach Clean Up

All that sand and salt can be really irritating to your dog’s skin. Make sure to rinse your dog off with clean water each time you come back from the beach. Better yet, use the K9 Clean portable dog shower to give your dog a quick rinse before they get back into the car.  This is a beach staple for us and we use it regularly to rinse off all the loose sand which helps keep our car clean and our dog healthy.  Be sure to inspect your dog’s paws and rinse them well to rid them of sand and other allergens.

K9 Clean Portable Dog Wash

K9 Clean Portable Dog Wash

Don’t forget to dry your Beach Dog’s ears and give them a good rinse with an ear wash solution.  Our Lucy is prone to ear infections and because of these steps, she has been ear infection free this year! Consult with your vet about an ear rinse solution that’s best for your pup.

To find out more about K9 Clean and our Portable Dog Shower, visit our website and watch the product video to see how it works!

Don’t let the outdoors keep you in!


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