With Orange County (along with much of California) reopening and summer kicking off, perhaps you’re planning some beach fun with your dog. The combination of sun, sand, and surf is the best, but there are still some beach hazards you should know. Check out these four beach dangers to your dog and how to keep them safe.
#1: Monitor your dog for heatstroke signs
A day soaking up the sun’s rays may sound heavenly to you, but it can spell disaster for your thick-coated dog. A lack of shade and drinkable water, mixed with excessive exercise, can lead to heatstroke in your furry pal. Ensure you pack plenty of fresh water and a shade umbrella. Another great way to cool off your dog is to pack a frozen stuffed Kong.
#2: Ensure your dog doesn’t drink saltwater
Running up and down the shoreline all day makes for a thirsty dog, so provide plenty of fresh water. Do not allow your pooch to lap up the salty ocean water, which can cause saltwater toxicity, demonstrated by lethargy, nausea, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, loss of coordination, pale gums, breathing difficulties, seizures, or a coma. If your pet drinks too much saltwater, the toxicity can become severe and may kill your pet.
#3: Watch out for rip currents
Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are common along the U.S. coastline and the Great Lakes’ shores. These powerful currents can move eight feet per second and can carry your unsuspecting pup far away in the blink of an eye. Keep your dog safe by sticking close to shore, or keeping them on a leash and harness.
#4: Practice safety measures on a boat
Outfit your pooch with a life vest while on dry land to acclimate them to wearing one. Once on the boat, ensure your dog leaves the vest on, in case they fall or leap into the water. If you’re fishing with your dog nearby, cast carefully to avoid setting a hook in your pooch’s skin. Your dog may also want to chase the lure as you cast, so keep them confined, to avoid a “dog overboard” situation.
We at Huntington Beach Pet Hospital are here for you if you have any questions or concerns. Contact us for help.