When the sun is shining and the weather gets hot, anywhere waterside is truly one of the most perfect spots! As we head into the glorious dog days of summer, a beachy trip with your pup can offer you both some much-needed heat relief and a place to cool off – so long as your dog is allowed to join you.
From cool creeks and lakes, to coastal excursions, the Happy Puppy Tips team has come together to compile our favorite tips and tricks for planning the perfect day of fun in the sun with fido. So grab you sunscreen and shades and stick with us – things are just heating up!
First Things First – Do Your Due Diligence
Nothing could be more disappointing to your dog than going for a car ride to your local watering hole and being turned away upon arrival due to dog restrictions – which is why doing a bit of research first is critical.
While most public pools and beaches restrict dogs from visiting during peak season, some lakes, rivers, and seaside trails are open to dogs year round. To make sure you’re headed somewhere fido-friendly, check the websites of your local spots before piling into the car.
Websites like “Bring Fido” are also a great tool and provide pre-researched beaches that are guaranteed to be accessible to dog owners, so you won’t need to worry about potentially disappointing your already-excited pup.
Pack the Essentials
No one likes to feel bogged down with a leash in one hand and a heavy bag in the other, which is why the entire HPT team recommends packing light for your puppy beach plans.
Grab a backpack, which is especially helpful for keeping your arms free (especially if you have a dog that likes to pull on the leash!), and lay out your essentials. These should include, at minimum, doggy waste bags, treats, a water toy like a ball or frisbee, a towel to dry off, sunscreen (for both you and your dog!), a travel water bowl, and plenty of water to keep you both hydrated in the heat.
If you have the extra room, a few snacks, wet wipes for cleaning up, and pet-friendly bug spray are great essentials to have on hand.
Select a Shady Spot
On a 90-degree day, your dog’s temperature can climb to 110 degrees in just 10 minutes—and can exceed 130 degrees in 30 minutes out in the sun. To avoid a fatal accident, find a shady spot to set down your belongings that provides some sun relief for both you and your dog.
This is why you came, right!? Spend some time swimming and splashing around with your bestie. From fetch in the shallow waves, to letting your dog swim and explore the coastline, time in the water means time spent staying cool.
Cool Down the Car
When a car sits in the direct sun on an 80-degree day, the internal temperature of your car can soar past 170 degrees. While that’s extremely uncomfortable to you, it’s a life-threatening temperature for your dog.
If you drive to your dog-friendly destination, prior to getting in the car to leave, take five minutes to let your car’s a/c run so you can cool down the vehicle before heading home, especially if it’s been sitting in the direct sun.
Finally, remember that if it’s too hot outside for you, it’s definitely too hot outside for your dog. When temperatures rise to dangerously high levels, keep outdoor time to a minimum and opt for these creative ways to cool off, instead!