Taking your dog to the beach can be a great recreational experience for you and your furry friend, especially if you prepare ahead of time and follow these few tips:
- Make sure your dog likes the beach. Most water dogs love it. Others will be prefer to stay home. Before you plan to battle summer beach traffic for a day on the sand, make sure every member of your group will have fun—including your dog.
- Provide for your pet’s comfort. If you need shade for the human members of your family, you dog will need it too. If the sand is too hot for you to go barefoot, it will pain your pup’s paws just as quickly.
- You wouldn’t drink salt water and your dog shouldn’t either. Sometimes, it can cause diarrhea. In large quantities it can be life-threatening. And some beaches harbor bacteria or other organisms that can cause lasting damage or discomfort. Check with your veterinarian for hazards in your area. Bring plenty of fresh water and a drinking bowl.
- Keep your dog on a leash. You may want a longer leash to allow your pup to play in the waves, but check the rules for the beaches you’re visiting. Even if your dog is reliably under voice control the distractions of a beach environment can change that in a hurry. Out-of-control humans, water toys, and other wild-life can all cast a shadow on an otherwise fun beach visit. A leash is safety for you, your dog, other beach goers and wildlife.
- Obey signs. Increasingly, dogs and humans share the beach with endangered wildlife. If your beach has restrictions on the areas accessible to dogs and people, follow the rules. No one wants to be the person who ruins beach visits for everyone.
- Rinse sand and salt from your dog’s skin and coat, which can be even more sensitive than your own.
- Sunscreen? Some guidelines recommend protecting your dog’s ears and nose. I worry about my dog ingesting the chemicals in lotions, so I prefer to limit her exposure to the sun. Consult your vet and plan accordingly.
- A fitted sheet on the back seat of the car and towels in the foot wells can go a long way toward leaving more sand at the beach than what you transport home.
- Consider timing your trips for early in the morning or after dinner. Fewer people, cooler sand, and less sun exposure will help you all have more fun.
Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Series of cozy mysteries featuring a professional organizer turned amateur detective and her sidekick golden retriever in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.
Cliff Hanger, the fifth book in the series, releases July 16 from Kensington Publishing. Address to Die For, the first title in the six-book series, was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. A resident of Northern California for decades, she now lives on Monterey Bay, enjoying the area’s myriad natural treasures. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.
When a hang-gliding stranger is found fatally injured in the cliffs above Monterey Bay, the investigation into his death becomes a cluttered mess. Professional organizer Maggie McDonald must sort the clues to catch a coastal killer before her family becomes a target . . .
Maggie has her work cut out for her helping Renée Alvarez organize her property management office. Though the condominium complex boasts a prime location on the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, aging buildings and the high-maintenance tenants have Renée run ragged. But Maggie’s efforts are complicated when her sons attempt to rescue a badly injured man who crashed his ultra-light on the coastal cliffs.
Despite their efforts to save him, the man dies. Maggie’s family members become the prime suspects in a murder investigation and the target of a lawsuit. Her instincts say something’s out of place, but solving a murder won’t be easy. Maggie still needs to manage her business, the pushy press, and unwanted interest from criminal elements. Controlling chaos is her specialty, but with this killer’s crime wave, Maggie may be left hanging . . .