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Beach safety for dogs

The dog days of summer are here!

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Who doesn’t love a beach day? To keep your pets safe this summer, we talked with veterinarian Denette Cooke about ways to keep your dog beach days fun.  

“So dogs love the beach, humans love the beach... but just like for humans, sometimes it’s too much. It’s too hot, it’s too humid, there’s no relief, there’s no shade,” explained Cooke.

Don't just bring water for yourself, but for your dog too. 

“You want to make sure you have fresh water and stay within their limits. I’d say, generally speaking, a few hours at the beach goes a long way for most dogs,” said Cooke.

Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog.

Cooke explains that “your dog is going to tell you a lie because they’re going to act like they're good because they have flight or fight so they try to hide or mask their problems. So that’s something for owners need to be aware of, that the dog may be worse off than they're letting on so you have to be preemptive in that.”

Cooke said there are a few signs your dog may give if they're experiencing heat exhaustion.

“One thing that you may notice first is that they can’t calm down. They're not being able to rest after you try to tell them it’s too hot. You also may see that the leading edge of their tongue becomes like a ladle or spoon. It will get really spread out and hang out of their mouth. They may also look very distrusted when their eyes are red and buggy,” said Cooke.

We know that you love hanging out with your dog, but Cooke said sometimes separation is best.

“So it’s either human day or dog day; not trying to combine them to be there all day long, because that’s when we run more of the risk of problems,” said Cooke.

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