Take your Dog to the Beach

Fun with your dog on the beach!

Bringing your dog to the beach can be an enjoyable and thrilling experience for both you and your furry companion. Walking, running, digging in the sand, chasing waves, and playing fetch together are many of the fun and exciting activities to do with your pup. Not to mention, the beach and tidal pools are a treasure trove of "sniff spots" to interest and intrigue any breed.

However, planning and preparing for any possible situation is vital to have a fantastic time. Fortunately, having the required equipment and taking appropriate safety measures is an easy way to guarantee a memorable day of frolicking on the beach and splashing in the waves with your dog.

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#dogtroubles #offthebednow #boradorable #boradorlife #rescuedandloved #frippdogs ...

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Beach pupper. #lucythenewfie #newfoundlandpuppy #frippisland #frippdogs #frippeekiyay

Beach pupper. #lucythenewfie #newfoundlandpuppy #frippisland #frippdogs #frippeekiyay ...

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Lucy goosey is 12 weeks old today! #lucythenewfie #frippinit #frippdogs

Lucy goosey is 12 weeks old today! #lucythenewfie #frippinit #frippdogs ...

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#tugofwardogstyle with goliboy_ 🐾🐾.......
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#tugofwardogstyle with goliboy_ 🐾🐾.......
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I’m fitzing right in here at the beach! Mommy hasn’t taken me to see the sand yet, but she took me on a fun golf cart ride. I gots lots of pets!! We even walked to the marina!
#frippdogs #labradorretriever #blacklabsmatter #waitingforfoodtodrop #imagooddog

I’m fitzing right in here at the beach! Mommy hasn’t taken me to see the sand yet, but she took me on a fun golf cart ride. I gots lots of pets!! We even walked to the marina!
#frippdogs #labradorretriever #blacklabsmatter #waitingforfoodtodrop #imagooddog
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Fripp Island is a beautiful pet-friendly vacation destination.  Puppy parents enjoy strolling the island and along beaches with their furry companions, playing in the waves and enjoying a beautiful coastal getaway.  So head on out and make it your day! See all the seasonal leash rules and learn more about #dogsonthebeach https://frippislandstay.com/dogs-on-beach
#frippislandstay #frippinit #dogfriendlyvacation #frippdogs

Fripp Island is a beautiful pet-friendly vacation destination. Puppy parents enjoy strolling the island and along beaches with their furry companions, playing in the waves and enjoying a beautiful coastal getaway. So head on out and make it your day! See all the seasonal leash rules and learn more about #dogsonthebeach https://frippislandstay.com/dogs-on-beach
#frippislandstay #frippinit #dogfriendlyvacation #frippdogs
...

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Fun golf cart ride!
#golfcartdoggierides #frippinit #frippdogs #labsofinstagram #laboradorlove #laboradorretriever

Fun golf cart ride!
#golfcartdoggierides #frippinit #frippdogs #labsofinstagram #laboradorlove #laboradorretriever
...

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Fripp Island is a pet-friendly vacation destination.  Enjoy a sunrise run or a stroll at sunset with your fur baby.  When making your plans, be sure and remember the leash rules that vary by season.  Learn more: https://bit.ly/FrippTip-DogsonBeach #frippislandstay #frippinit #frippvacation #frippdogs #beachfun

Fripp Island is a pet-friendly vacation destination. Enjoy a sunrise run or a stroll at sunset with your fur baby. When making your plans, be sure and remember the leash rules that vary by season. Learn more: https://bit.ly/FrippTip-DogsonBeach #frippislandstay #frippinit #frippvacation #frippdogs #beachfun ...

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Find a Pet-friendly Fripp Island Vacation Rental

 

Gear

Before you even make your trip to the beach, make sure you have some important gear on hand for your pup. 

  • A waterproof collar with ID tags and a GPS tracker
  • An extra collar and leash
  • A long leash
  • Goggles
  • A life vest
  • A sun shirt
  • Dog booties
  • Umbrella
  • Tent

To ensure your dog's safe return if they get lost, consider getting a waterproof collar with ID tags and a GPS tracker. It's also a good idea to have an extra collar and leash on hand in case of emergencies. In addition, bringing a long leash is an excellent option if your dog is not fully trained to come back when called, as it allows them to roam freely while still connected to you.

If you think your dog will be doing some swimming, you might consider goggles and a life vest. Even a dog that knows how to swim may get tired, so the life vest is highly recommended.

And finally, dogs are as much prone to sunburn as people, so you might want to consider a sun shirt. You can also use an umbrella or tent to provide a shady spot for them to rest. A cooling mat for them to lay on will help keep their temperature down, too. Their paws are sensitive to the hot sand as well, and dog booties are a good solution.

Leash Rules

Learn the seasonal rules for dogs on the beach.

Supplies

Some obvious supplies you’ll need are poop bags, treats, towels, and toys. However, there are supplies you may not think to bring along. For example, you might consider a playpen for small dogs to keep them from running away.

Also, consider the possibility of your dog getting sunburned. To protect them from sunburn, apply sunscreen before going to the beach. Areas where their hair is thin or without hair, such as the ears and nose, are the spots to focus on. For feet protection on the hot and harsh sand, apply a paw balm or wax to the bottom of the feet.

In addition to protecting them from burning, keeping your dog cool is extremely important, as they can suffer from heat stroke. Bring some gallons of fresh water and a dog water bottle or pop-up bowl for them to drink from.

Finally, to ensure your dog stays safe and healthy, including a dog first aid kit is a good idea. It can make a big difference in the event of an emergency.  

Behavior

If this is the first time you have taken your dog to the beach, watching for behaviors they may not usually display is crucial. For example, your pooch might not be as responsive to commands. One command you need to make sure is solid is leave it. You never know what garbage, food, wildlife, etc., you might come across.

If your dog frequently spends time in public areas and responds well to your "leave-it" command, it's still important to be aware of other potential concerns. Loud waves and crowds of people may spook your dog, which is why ensuring that they have strong recall skills is crucial. If your dog's recall is unreliable, it may be safer to leave the leash on. In addition, Fripp Island has seasonal guidelines regarding when your dog must be on a leash and when it is permitted to be on the beach. You can click here to get more information about those rules.

Another unexpected behavior your dog may display is trying to eat sand or drink salt water. Saltwater especially can dehydrate them, so you want to make sure you frequently offer fresh, clean water for them to drink. Signs of dehydration include vomiting, dry tacky gums, thick ropy saliva, and trouble walking. Also watch for signs of heatstroke, including lethargy, excessive panting, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you think your dog is suffering from dehydration or heatstroke, get them to a veterinarian immediately!

Preparing Your Dog

Getting your dog ready will make the trip to the beach much less stressful for both of you. If they don’t get out in public much, starting with small, short trips might be good if they seem overwhelmed once you arrive. As mentioned, teaching your dog ‘leave it’ can be incredibly helpful. This can help prevent them from getting into trouble or eating something they shouldn’t be. However, “leave-it” is not the only skill your pup needs to know to be safe on the beach. 

You may think dogs naturally know how to swim, but this is not always true! If you plan to take your dog swimming, teaching them how to swim in a calm and controlled environment is important. The ocean can be rough and unpredictable, with tricky currents that may cause even experienced swimmers to struggle. This is also where the life vest might come in handy. Alternatively, playing in the waves is a safer option for dogs that are not strong swimmers.

And finally, you need to ensure they are protected against any ailments or pests they may encounter. Be sure your dog’s vaccines are up to date. Diseases can still be passed on even if they are not directly interacting with strange dogs or wildlife. Sand fleas and deer ticks are also a problem, so keeping them treated with medication to protect them is vital. 

Observe

You don’t only want to keep an eye on your dog. Pay close attention to your surroundings on the beach. For example, watching to see if water conditions are rough is advised. In addition, if your dog gets overly excited or isn’t fond of strange dogs or people, you will want to keep an eye out for them. In that vein, look out for loose dogs if your dog isn’t friendly. Dogs are allowed on the beach off-leash on Fripp Island during certain times of the year. You can find the rules here. Make certain to check out the rules that apply during your stay.

Wildlife

Along with observing the conditions of the beach, it is important to look out for wildlife. Fripp Island is a nature preserve and, therefore, home to numerous animals. It is essential to be vigilant to make sure both your dog and the wildlife are protected. You may encounter animals such as alligators, snakes, jellyfish, stingrays, and bees - any of which can be dangerous to dogs.

Be mindful that your dog can also be dangerous to the local wildlife. Human disturbance is causing habitat loss and, therefore, a steep decline in shorebird and seabird populations. When walking your dog on the beach, consider taking these precautions to help protect the birds.

  • Leash them near birds because dogs look like predators to them.
  • Be sure to avoid walking through flocks of birds and check for signage indicating where birds are nesting.
  • And finally, fill in any holes your dog digs, as they can be dangerous to baby sea turtles, people, and other dogs.

Things to Do

If you’re not sure what to do with your dog at the beach, here are a few ideas.

 
 

Other Tips

Most veterinarians recommend keeping very young puppies at home until they are fully vaccinated. Check with your veterinarian before bringing your pup to the beach.

It would be best if you also considered your dog's breed. Any dog can overheat if it is too hot, but fluffy breeds such as huskies or malamutes quickly overheat. Flat-nose dogs, such as bulldogs and pugs, are also prone to overheating.

Finally, several good local veterinarians and emergency vets are in the area, just in case. Check out our Fripp Tip to find one if necessary.

After the Beach - Grooming Tips

What's the best fix for a sandy beach dog… more water! First, rinse your dog well to remove sand and salt water. This will help prevent skin irritation. If your dog's skin is very sensitive, giving them a thorough bath might be a good idea. Dry and clean their ears with a dog-specific ear cleaner to prevent infection. To avoid irritation on the paws, check them and apply paw balm as needed. Finally, if your dog is a long-coated breed, such as a doodle, golden retriever, yorkie, or shih tzu, get all the sand out and brush them to avoid matting.