How to keep your dogs safe at the beach

With all of this talk about back to school, we’re still in the middle of prime beach weather! Beaches can be a blast for dogs who love being in and around the water. But don’t forget Hilton Head’s leash laws and practice vigilance around rip tides. Here are tips to keep your dog safe at the beach:

Keep An Eye On Your Dog Any Time They Are Around the Water

While many dogs can swim, not all of them enjoy the water. There also are some dog breeds you should be especially careful around water, including brachycephalic breeds (breeds with flat faces) that include Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih-Tzus, as well as any mixed breed that has a short snout. Their flat faces and big chests cause them to tire more quickly while swimming and put them at increased danger of sinking. Watch out for puppies as well! They tend to be clumsy and energetic but tire easily.

Beware of Dangerous Water Conditions

Rip currents, also called rip tides, can happen anywhere breaking waves occur, including the ocean, piers, and breakwaters. Do not to go into a rip current after an animal, and instead to seek help from a lifeguard on duty. Consider dog life jackets, which will keep your dog afloat, help you spot them in the water and make it easier for you to pull them out. These are great for when you’re out on the boat.

Bring Drinking Water

Ocean water can make your dogs sick since it can contain bacteria, algae, parasites, chemicals, or salt.

Take Breaks

Just like humans, swimming can be very tiring for dogs. Make sure they take breaks in the shade.

Wash Up Your Dogs at the Beach Shower Stations

Ocean water can irritate your dog’s skin. If your dog licks their fur, the salt could make them sick.

Obey Hilton Head’s Leash Laws

Did you know there are times of the year when dogs are not allowed on Hilton Head beaches? This table is from the Town of Hilton Head website.

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