Dogs and the beach
June 11, 2011
I am currently sitting poolside at a hotel resort in Clearwater Florida. I know, WHY am I writing this blog from here? Well, it came to me and I decided to put it down while I was thinking about it.
I have numerous clients that take their dogs with them to the beach. Most own beach houses or condos in Florida (we are 4 hours from Panama City Beach) so they take their dogs with them every weekend. Some rent however and take their dogs with them as well. I guess they have pet friendly rentals. We were driving the "strip" in Clearwater last night and I was shocked at how many dogs there were down here! Not only in front of homes that were obviously privately owned, but in the hotels as well. I left my dog at home, but apparently I was the only one that did!
I would not consider bringing my dog with me but many others do, and those who live near the beach have their dogs with them all the time. The restaurant we went to last night had a chow at the bar, and a boxer in the patio eating area, and the bar we ate lunch at today had a Yorkie, Miss Mollie, on the patio deck, and they even provided her with a bowl of water and a small plate to put her bits of food on while she was there - which is good because her mom was dropping food on the floor until they brought the plate.
So even though it seems many people do bring their pets with them to the beach, there are definately things youy should consider before deciding to do so.
First of all, make sure you really want to bring your dog with you and that you will have the time to devote to the care of your pup. It can be difficult as you will have to return to your hotel room to walk him/her and if you are on a boat, a beach or any other excursion, that can be hard.
Then, make sure that the condo, rental home or hotel room will allow you to bring the pet with you. If they do allow it, do they have a deposit, and if so how much is it and is it refundable or non refundable? There is nothing worse than getting to a hotel and finding out you cannot have your dog with you if you planned on having them there. It sounds like a no brainer, but not all hotels accept dogs, so it is best to ask in advance.
Fleas are HORRIBLE at the beach in Florida. Make sure that your dog is on preventative that is recently administered. The closer to the trip you can apply or administer the flea prevention the better off you will be. Many of my clients who are 100% flea free at home return from the beach vacations with fleas, but when we tell them to administer the flea preventative closer to the beach time, they have little to no infestation occur.
Sandspurs are also a big big problem in Florida. The dunes are covered in spurs and burrs and they can and do wreak havoc on your pets hair. I prefer to bathe and brush each pet before and after they go on vacation. That way you know they are taking a clean, mat free dog and you can get any burrs and the like out quickly upon return to prevent damage or at least minimalize it, to the dogs coat.
Be aware that not all beaches allow dogs onto the sand, and even if they do allow them, you may want to keep your pup off the beaches. The sand gets hot and the dogs feet will not be able to stand that without burning. The asphalt and sidewalks are also really hot during the day in the summers. If you do bring your dog and you cannot carry them, then I suggest boots to prevent the pads and paws from burning. Also, make sure that if you find a pet friendly beach, you clean up after your pet and control them. Nothing could be worse than stepping in poo on the beach or having a dog run all over you while you are sunning yourself!
You won't forget the sunscreen for yourself, but did you remember to get it for FLuffy? A dog's skin is sensitive and they can get burned as easily as you do. Provide shade and there are many sprays out there made for dogs that have UV protection. This article talks in depth about the need for doggie sunscreens Sunscreen. If your dog will wear them, Doggles are also a "must" for dogs at the beach. WE wear sunglasses, so should the dogs that go to the beach.
Also remember that the air temperature is hot, even if the wind is blowing in the summer and a dog can suffer heatstroke easily. Always keep a bowl of water handy. They make travel bowls and bottle holders with flip down bowls to travel with. It is a good idea to use bottled water when traveling because sometimes dogs, like humans, respond negatively to strange water sources.
There are several local places in the high tourist areas of Florida that do daycare for visitors. Each place has it own set of rules, and I suggest you go into each one to see if it is the "right fit" for you before you hire them to take care of your dog. I have looked at several here in Clearwater and I know that a couple of them will not suit my needs. It would be hard to get down here with the dog and find out that you cannot or do not wish, to use a facility you had planned on using because there is just something you didn't do or that you don't feel right about it. Reservations are usually required for visitors so plan ahead.
You can also arrange for a dog walker to visit your hotel room or condo to take care of your pooch if you are going to be out for extended periods of time, just make sure the hotel knows about it. They may even be able to refer you to a good dog walker. Never hurts to ask! Make sure you introduce the dog and the walker in advance and that the pet is in their carrier in the room where the walker will not have to chase them. It is also safer for the pet as housekeeping may have to enter the room and they might get out the door. It happened to a client of mine once, so I never leave my pets out on the floor at all when I stay in a hotel, even with a Do Not Disturb sign in place.
Before taking your pup with you to a restaurant or bar, call ahead and ask if it is ok. Many places here in Clearwater have no problems with your pet coming along but you will most likely be seated outside on the patio, so be prepared for that possibility. Not everyone at the bar or restaurant will be happy about your pet so leash them and keep them close to you at all times. If possible, bring your own bowl in case the facility is not as accomodating as The Brown Boxer Bar in Clearwater Beach.
Sand and salt as we all know, are harsh irritants and if your pet goes swimming or running on the beach with you, make sure you wash all the sand and salt off their hair and skin every day. At the very least they should be rinsed off to remove the sand. It would be a good idea to take a brush with you as well to make sure you get the tangles and burrs out of the pets hair. Otherwise you will have a mess when you get home, and a coated dog will have damaged coat to deal with as well.
Look in advance for self serve dog washes and dog parks. The self wash will make cleaning up the sand and salt a lot easier than doing it in a hotel room! These are places you will likely want to visit with your pet while on vacation, so knowing where they are in advance will make it easier on you.
In most cases it is probably best to leave your pup at home, but the above tips will help you to have a better beach vacation if you just can't leave him at home!
This is great!! You really provided so much information in this article ~ especially alot of things that pet owners might tend to not think of ahead of time.
I couldn't help but laugh at the simple fact that you were surrounded by dogs...I hope you still got some quiet relaxing time while you are out of town.
Yall be careful and enjoy.
Posted by: teresa | June 11, 2011 at 03:58 PM