Beach dogs

Taking your dog to the beach is always very appealing. Beaches are wonderful places to play and walk with dogs, but this is becoming more and more difficult to do at popular beaches, because many byelaws exclude dogs. This is too bad, but it is also easy to understand that dogs can be a nuisance. Nobody likes their body, recently covered with suntan lotion, to be suddenly splattered by millions of specks of sand sent flying by a running dog. There is also a risk of infection as a result of sand polluted by the faeces of unwormed dogs. So, before you plan a playful outing like this, you should find out if dogs are allowed at your intended destination, to avoid surprises.

Dog owners who ignore prohibitions or who are able to go to beaches where dogs are allowed or to areas of undeveloped coastline should keep certain considerations in mind, since their animals could find themselves in situations for which they are not prepared.

In the first place, keep in mind the dangerous effects of the sun, especially during the summer months. Pets are not bullet-proof and may suffer sunstroke and in certain cases sunburn, especially those with lighter-coloured or short fur, or if they have had a haircut recently. Dog owners should consider using some type of sunscreen on the most sensitive areas, such as around the nose. You should avoid leaving your pet in the sun for long periods.

The sea is another matter. Some dogs will refuse to go in the water, while others will be delighted to go in. The owners of the water lovers should remember that the salt in seawater plus the irritation caused by sand is not a good combination. If you add a dog’s propensity to scratch, it could be the beginning of a vicious circle that could end up causing important injuries to its pads and webbing. This may be avoided by cleaning these areas carefully when bathing your dog.

Finally, you should never forget that your animal is your responsibility, and that the way you act with him will influence the positive or negative image that other people may have of companion animals. This is why you should never forget to pick up your dog’s excrements –do not cover them up with sand- and always be respectful of others: prevent your dog from being a nuisance to the people you meet.

Did you know...

Hip dysplasia is most frequent among Saint Bernards and other dog breeds such as English Setters, Rottweilers, Botbtais or German Shepherds.

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