10 Things To Remember When Taking Your Dog To The Beach For The First Time

There are few places your dog is happier than at a beach. Swimming, running, hiking, fetching, digging - yes, indeed a beach has it all for a dog. But there are some things you need to keep in mind to make sure your dog returns from his first visit to the beach safe and sound.

1- The majority of dogs can swim and love it, but dogs entering the water for the first time should be tested; never throw your dog into the water. Start in shallow water and call your dog's name - or try to coax him in with a treat or toy. Always keep your dog within reach. 

2- Another way to introduce your dog to the water is with a dog that already swims and is friendly with your dog. Let your dog follow his friend. 

3- If your dog begins to doggie paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and will keep his back end up.

4- Swimming is a great form of exercise, but don't let your dog overdo it. He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.

5- Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best canine swimmers.

6- Cool ocean water is tempting to your dog. Do not allow him to drink too much sea water. Salt in the water will make her sick. Salt and other minerals found in the ocean can damage your dog's coat so regular bathing at the shore is important.

7- Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions - dogs are easy targets for jellyfish and sea lice.

8- Dogs can get sunburned, especially short-haired dogs and ones with pink skin and white hair.

9- Limit your dog's exposure when the sun is strong and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before heading for the sand.

10- If your dog is out of shape, don't encourage him to run on the and. Running on the beach is strenuous exercise and a dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament.

That's about it - so grab a leash and hit the beach!