VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — As the weather gets warmer in Hampton Roads, it's the perfect time to hit up the beach. But if the Virginia Beach Oceanfront is your beach of choice, you may want to reconsider bringing your four-legged friend.
During the summer months, Virginia Beach has some rules and restrictions on bringing dogs to the Oceanfront as a safety measure against the blistering hot sand.
Between the Friday before Memorial Day and Labor Day each year, dogs aren't allowed on the sand between Rudee Loop and 42nd Street, a nearly three-mile stretch. According to the city, dogs are allowed at other beaches after 6 p.m. and before 10 a.m., as long as they're on a leash or under the control of the owner.
Leashed dogs are also allowed on Virginia Beach Boardwalk and the grassy areas on the side between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.
When the temperature reaches the 80s and 90s outside, the sand and asphalt can get even hotter, causing health problems for dogs, such as burns or heat stroke. Last summer, the Virginia Beach Animal Control Unit had to crack down on people bringing their dogs on the sand.
How can I keep my dog cool this summer?
The Virginia Beach SPCA has several tips for keeping pets cool and hydrated when it's hot outside:
Find shade for your pet
When outside, give your pet plenty of time in the shade. You can also have a kiddie pool with cool water for your pet.
Protect your pet's paws
Check the pavement with your hand before you leave. If you can’t leave your hand for longer than three seconds, it's too hot for your pet to walk on.
If you're going to take your pet on a walk, go in the morning or evening when it's cooler outside. If you have to walk your pet, put them in the grass.
Keep your pet hydrated
Make sure your pet has access to fresh and cool water. If you and your pet will be outside for more than five minutes, bring water and a bowl.
Watch out for a heatstroke
The Virginia Beach SPCA advised watching for heavy panting, excessive water consumption and signs of disorientation.
If your pet is too hot, wet the top of their head with cool water and use a fan to increase the movement of the air.
Don't leave your pet in a car
Cars have the same effect as ovens when turned off. At 94 degrees outside, the inside can get up to 145 degrees.