Whilst it's true that most dogs love a trip to the beach it's also worth remembering a few handy tips to keep them safe and happy on your day out. Check before you travel that the beach you want to visit is dog friendly all year round. Increasingly, popular beaches do not allow dogs certain times of the year or in specific areas. Be aware that if it is dog-friendly there will probably be lots of other dogs about not on leads, if your dog is not very sociable this may not be the best day out for them.
If this is going to be their first time near water take them to a quieter area where it is shallow and calm rather than risk them charging into deep or rough water and getting panicked. Also, provide plenty of opportunities to drink fresh, cold water from a travel bowl rather than have them resorting to drinking salty sea water which could make them poorly.
If it's going to be a sunny day it's worth investing in some pet-friendly sunblock, particularly if your dog is shaven, has a light coat or pink nose and skin. Make sure you have some shade available under a parasol or even on a blanket/towl in a beach tent. Pack toys such as frisbees or ones that float rather than tennis balls which will just get clogged with wet sand. Do be aware that the sand is tough exercise and playful dogs can get overheated so make sure they rest as much as they play.
Look out for any hazardous items such as broken glass, hooks, coral or wire on sea defences that they could potentially cut themselves on. Also, don't let them appraoch any washed up sealife such as jellyfish or crabs.
It is always a good idea to know when high and low tide are so you know what direction the sea is moving in. The tide comes in very fast and shallow rock pools or streams can suddenly become very deep pools and channels which you and your dog may struggle to cross. Make sure you don't venture far if the tide is on the turn.
When you leave the beach or get home it's a good idea to wash your dog with warm water and mild shampoo to remove salt and sand from their coat which may irritate them.
It might be worth investing in one of our small animal first aid kits while they're on offer at 10% discount (only £18). They're compact enough to fit in the car or your beach bag and equip you with the tools to treat a minor injury until you can get your dog safely to the vet. These are on sale at our Small Animal reception while stocks last.