Enjoying the Beach With Your Pet in Winter
Southern California life is beach life, and that’s true for dogs, too. Most dogs love splashing in the waves and digging around in the sand – no matter the season. To make sure you and your dog fully and safely enjoy your time together at the beach, consider the following safety tips.
6 Beach Safety Tips for Dogs in Winter
1. Be Mindful of Colder Water, Temperatures, and Wind
When the water and air temperatures are colder and the wind is whipping, too, remember that your pup is susceptible to hypothermia. Dogs often get too excited playing to realize that their internal temperature is dropping dangerously. Limit your time outdoors on cold days, especially in the water, and if the water looks too rough, don’t let your dog go in.
2. Make Sure Your Dog Can Swim
Plenty of dogs love the water and love to swim, but many don’t and some can’t swim at all. Before running paws-first into the ocean with your dog, take them to a calmer, safer spot to make sure they like the water and that they are able to swim.
3. Cold Water Can Be Painful
Cold water can exacerbate symptoms for dogs with joint problems like arthritis or hip dysplasia. It’s best for these dogs not to swim during the winter.
4. Visit Dog-Friendly Spots
Before you set out, make sure you plan to visit a beach that allows dogs and check the leash rules and regulations to make sure you have a leash of the proper length if required. (We recommend always bringing a leash no matter what.)
5. Bring Drinking Water
If possible, keep your dog from drinking the ocean water, as the salt in it can dehydrate your dog and lead to salt poisoning. Bring plenty of fresh water and a collapsible bowl to keep your dog hydrated while he plays.
6. Rinse and Dry Well
The salt in ocean water can irritate your dog’s skin and damage her coat. Be sure to wash your dog thoroughly with fresh water and dry them off well to keep them from getting too cold during the winter.
Schedule a Checkup at Pacific Pet Hospital
Before heading out for any unusual physical activity or more exercise than normal, it’s best to have your dog’s health checked out by a veterinarian. We welcome you to schedule an appointment at Pacific Pet Hospital to make sure your dog is fit for a romp in the waves.