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Five tips for you and your beach baby

Posted on: August 8th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance runs on the beach.

By: Chryssa Rich
For Pets Best Insurance

Landlocked in lovely Boise, Idaho, we’re a full day’s drive to the Pacific Ocean and not exactly pros when it comes to beach living. So we asked our more sea-savvy Facebook friends how they keep their pets safe on the beach (aside from having pet insurance of course) and we got some great advice we hope you can use on your next beach getaway.

Bring Fresh Water
Gulping salt water can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog, so make sure you discourage him from drinking ocean water and provide plenty of fresh water. Keep it covered and in the shade so it’s clean and cool when he needs to rehydrate. Any digestive discomfort caused by sea water should pass within 24 hours. If not, seek veterinary care.

Protect Their Paws and Skin
Hot sand can abrade and crack paw pads, and those cracks can become infected. To keep pads soft and healthy, one friend swears by Musher’s Secret, a natural wax product that you can rub onto your dog’s paw pads before hitting the sand. Other options include a variety of water-proof booties and socks available online and at pet stores – just make sure they fit well and won’t come off when wet.

Dogs with short coats and lighter skin especially need extra protection from the sun. Talk to your vet about a pet-safe sunscreen and be sure to give your dog a good bath when you get home.

Test the Waters with Other Dogs
Especially in off-leash areas, make sure other dogs are friendly before letting yours run free. This is especially true if your dog will be fetching a toy – how will he react if another dog tries to sneak in and grab it? If your dog is possessive of toys, leave them in the car till the other dogs are gone.

Scout the Land
Most dogs love seeing vast expanses of open space – they’ll tear off running as fast as they can. Before you let your pup off leash, check the beach for anything potentially dangerous like broken glass, garbage and jellyfish. Investing in dog insurance can help ensure your pup will be protected if any injuries occur while on the beach.

Take Frequent Breaks
Some dogs will fetch and swim themselves right into exhaustion. Even if your dog wants to keep playing, give him breaks in the shade throughout the day. Some signs that indicate he might be overdoing it include vigorous panting, dark red gums and thick saliva. If you observe any of these signs or your dog seems weak or dizzy, get into a cool place right away and call your veterinarian. Pet insurance can help diminish costs associated with emergency vet visits for heat stroke or exhaustion.

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