When Can I Take My Puppy to The Beach?

two puppies playing on the beach

You can take your puppy to the beach when they are 16 weeks (four months) old. This is, however, assuming they’ve had all their vaccinations. Do not take a puppy to the beach until they are fully vaccinated. Be sure to bring plenty of water for your pup and be prepared to clean up their mess. 

Congratulations on your new puppy! I am sure you are ready to get out there and start taking them outside for walks and playtime. But your puppy is a small, undeveloped animal that still needs a lot of supervision. Your puppy is full of energy and hyper-inquisitive. Without someone looking after them, puppies frequently get into trouble. It’s part of growing up! 

Exposure to new things will help your puppy learn about the world and decreases the chances of them becoming a fearful or anxious dog when they get older. 

If you’re a frequent beachgoer, you’re probably wondering when you’re allowed to take your puppy to the beach.

Vaccinations Before The Beach

First things first, your puppy needs to be fully vaccinated before you take them anywhere, including the beach. 

There are many horrible diseases that dogs can catch in public places if they do not have the proper protection. You want to put the health of your puppy above anything else while they are developing. 

If your dog is over four months old, it should be fully vaccinated and ready to go, but this is an important first step. Without it, you run a serious risk of your puppy getting very sick.

Dry Run in the Water

Certain breeds are huge fans of playing in the water. They are natural swimmers that you have to drag away from the lake when it’s time to leave! 

But other dogs may not understand how to process a beach. Puppies do not have a lot of life experience, so it’s hard to predict how your pup will react to going to the beach for the first time. 

Before heading to a beach with people, other dogs, and other stimuli, try a dry run with just you and your puppy. Head to a lake or river that does not have people around and let them get used to the water. This can be a good way to test how your dog will react when you go to the actual beach later on. 

Scope it Out

Many public beaches have specific rules for dogs. They may require you to have your dog on a leash at all times, or stay within a specific area. You will have to clean up after your dog in most dog-friendly spaces. 

Of course, some beaches ban dogs entirely—double-check what the regulations require for the beach that you want to visit. In addition, it is worthwhile to quickly check where the nearest vet will be to the beach. This can come in handy if you run into an emergency. 

You will also want to plot your driving route to the beach from your house. Long car rides can be taxing on puppies, so make sure that you will have chances to stop and stretch their legs and take care of any other business. 

You will also want to check the beach for potential hazards. Don’t take your puppy somewhere with litter or sharp seashells that could injure their paws.

Pack Accordingly

When bringing a puppy to the beach, it is very important to bring the necessary supplies. You need to keep your dog safe and entertained at the beach to avoid any potential problems. Here are a few ideas!

Water

Dehydration and heat exhaustion can sneak up on your puppy at the beach. Odds are, your puppy will be running around on hot sand under the sun. 

Your dog cannot drink salt water. Ocean water is unfiltered and has a number of undesirable elements in it that can adversely affect your dog’s health. 

Bring a large supply of cool water from home to give your dog when they need a break. Take a bowl with you. Many brands offer collapsible dog bowls to save on storage space. Water is probably the most important thing you can bring with you to the beach.

Cleanup Tools

Your dog is probably going to be a little messy at the beach, and why not? They are just enjoying the sun and the sand! Nevertheless, you still have to clean up after them. Always bring some doggie bags with you in case your dog poops. Dog-friendly beaches expect their patrons to clean up after their dogs, so if you don’t, they may slap you with a fine. 

Bring lots of towels as well for when your dog hops in the surf. You don’t want to be stuck with your car smelling like a wet dog for the next few weeks! 

Safety Items

In addition to what we have already covered, there are a few more items you may want to take with you when you bring your puppy to the beach. 

If the sand is hot, it is a good idea to bring dog booties. Dog paw pads can burn when exposed to high temperatures. You don’t want your best friend to be in pain from what was supposed to be a fun trip! 

You should also bring a dog first-aid kit with you. Within the kit, you should have tweezers, gauze, styptic swabs, rubber gloves, and any other medical supplies your pup may require. 

If you are unsure about letting your dog run free on the beach, bring along a playpen for them. You can set it up under a beach umbrella next to your chair and enjoy the day together. 

If your dog loves the water, you can get them a life jacket and some goggles. Waterproof GPS trackers are available for pets at many stores.

And just like humans, dogs can suffer from sunburn too. Fortunately, there are multiple dog sunscreen brands out there. Give them an extra coat of sunscreen where your dog’s hair is thinner or there is exposed flesh. 

What’s the Best Time of Day?

Some times during the day are better for dogs to go to the beach than others. The main obstacle with the beach is the heat. Dogs can overheat easily, with flat-faced breeds (brachycephalic breeds) being especially susceptible. 

Never forget to bring cool water with you to the beach. If you are thinking about taking your puppy to the beach, try to go when the heat is not so intense. 

For most beaches, this means early morning or late afternoon. No matter when you go, always bring something to shield the sun.

You can also bring a cooling pad for your dog, though this will need to be brought in a cooler to keep it from heating up on the way. Another consideration is what hours the beach is most busy. You may want to avoid crowds when you bring your dog to the beach.

A Day at the Beach

Taking your puppy to the beach can be a very fun and rewarding experience. Keep their safety at the forefront of your mind. Don’t forget that anything that poses a danger to humans on a beach will also pose a danger to your dog. 

Make sure that your pooch is protected from the sun’s harmful rays and given plenty of water. With a little pre-planning, a day at the beach with your dog will make memories you will never forget! 

Always consult your vet if you are worried about taking your puppy to the beach, as they will know what is best for your dog. 

At the end of the day, you may want to rinse your dog with clean water to get any salt or other residue off their coats before you towel them off.

Have fun bringing your puppy to the beach!

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