For many Australians, days at the beach are synonymous with summer. In fact, scratch that, all year sandy toes, peeling waves and that distinct sunscreen smell are the norm. We’re all so lucky to be able to tap into the motion of the ocean lapping at our beautiful coastline, but there’s one thing that makes it even better… bringing along the pooch!
Beach days with your furry friend are a catalyst for lifelong memories – for you and the pup. Salty frisbee, naps under the beach umbrella, dips in the brine, it’s always worth the soggy ride home. However, ensuring a safe, happy and drama-free beach adventure with the dog isn’t always as easy as simply bringing a lead and a towel. Let’s dive into some easy ways to make the most out of a sandy day with man’s best mate!
Before you jump in the car or begin the walk
There’s always some bite in the Australian sun. That’s why, just like us humans, your pup needs to be appropriately prepared to bask in it safely. Plus, if they’re partial to a few waves, you need to be sure they’re ready to take on the breakers. So, before you take off to the coast, it’s recommended you tick these boxes to ensure you all have the best time.
- A summer-ready coat. Whether it’s a trim or a shave, it’s important your dog doesn’t melt as soon as you get to sand.
- Dog bowl with plentiful fresh water. Most pups will only make the mistake of guzzling salt water once, but to prevent them even trying it, pack a dog bowl and water for them to lap up when they need.
- Dog treats. Make sure you’ve packed a few doggy snacks alongside your muesli bars. They’re useful to get their attention and reward them for being good.
- Poo bags. No one wants their beach day ruined by a filthy footprint! Be just as prepared as you would going for any other walk.
- Dog toys. Though the likelihood of finding a great stick is high, it’s worth throwing in a frisbee or ball. It not only keeps them moving, but it’s fun for you too!
- Dog sunscreen. White, hairless and exposed areas are where to apply. Children’s sunscreen works just as well as doggy-specific products.
- Towel. One for you, one for the pup. The last thing you want is a car smelling like soggy dog!
- Umbrella. Shade is the key to a long, safe day at the beach. An umbrella lets you and your dog escape the heat on any beach.
- Life jacket. If your pup struggles to stay afloat, it might be worth looking into a little life jacket to keep them safe.
- Lead or harness. Off-lead or otherwise, a lead or harness gives you peace of mind that you can be connected to your dog even if there are distractions aplenty.
It’s also really important that your dog is trained well enough to come and stay when told. Especially in an off-leash area or at a designated dog beach, there’s a lot of fun things they can cling to, chase and follow, so it’s best to be sure they’ll do as they’re told and stay safe.
At the beach
The sun’s out, toes are in the sand, your swimmers are on and your dog thinks they’re in heaven on earth. It’s time to have fun! Here are some fun ideas to keep you and your pup entertained.
- Take your dog for a walk or run
A walk with crabs to chase, water to dive into and sand to dig holes in? That’s got to be a puppy dream! Before you let your pup run free, make sure that you legally can have them off-leash and that they’ll definitely come back when called. It’s also wise to keep in mind that not every other dog might not be as kind as yours and that beach goers might not be keen on a playful lick, so look out for mischief. If you’re at all worried about going off-leash, remember that an on-leash walk can be just as fun!
- Go for a swim
If your dog is a good swimmer and the waves aren’t too treacherous, guide them gently into the water to beat the heat. They can jump over the whitewater, sprint across the sandbank or doggy paddle until their heart’s content. Remember a life jacket if you’re worried about the strength of their stroke!
- Play sandy fetch
To your pup, the beach might look like the biggest backyard they’ve ever seen! Why not capitalise on the space with a jumbo game of fetch? With a ball, stick or frisbee, watch them go wild in the sand in the shorebreak.
- Build a sandcastle together
It might not win any architectural awards, but a collaborative human/canine castle is something you’ll always look back on fondly. Let them get their paws sandy digging the mote, or watch them reenact Godzilla as they destroy it afterwards.
- Construct an agility course
For the agile puppies, draw lines in the sand, build sand jumps and strategically place sticks, shells and maybe even the esky to build a sun-kissed agility course. Guide them through it or watch them choose their own path!
After the best day ever
After the best day ever
When you and your dog have retreated to the shade of the umbrella to nibble the rest of the treats and have a rest, maybe it’s time to start thinking about heading home. How do you make that as easy and safe as possible?
- Pack up all your gear, including poo bags and rubbish
- Put your dog on a lead for the wander back
- Give them a freshwater rinse-off if possible to prevent irritation
- Dry them properly
- Offer your pup one last big drink before jumping in the car
- Secure them safely in the vehicle with the air conditioner on and the windows down
- Look forward to the next adventure!
The most fun you can have at the beach - safely
With summer in full swing, look forward to some incredible days by the water with your pup and family. There really is nothing quite like it. Now, with these helpful tips, you can make the most of them all safely and happily, ensuring your dog’s tail never stops wagging!
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After you set up an ExtrasJar account and build a personalised plan, just tap into your exclusive ExtrasJar MasterCard at the point-of-sale instead of dipping into your savings. If your pup doesn’t dig into their fund in a given year or fully exhaust its value, it’ll not only rollover, but likely expand thanks to our pioneering investment mechanism.
We’re all about freedom, personalisation and funds that don’t expire – here to see your pet receive the highest quality care whatever that may be.