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Can My Dog Be a San Diego Beach Bum?

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Summer in San Diego means plenty of sun and fun at the glorious beaches in our area. Of course, you will be tempted to take your canine companion along, because a dog loves nothing better than to run along the wide expanse of a beach. We've posted previously on how to prepare your dog for a trip to the beach, so check out that info. And be aware there are a few rules to follow, and a few hazards to be cautious of. From leash laws to jelly fish, follow these tips to keep your pet out of trouble during the summer season.

First of all, the rules. In San Diego, pets generally aren't allowed on the  beaches from 9am to 6pm (April 1st to October 31st)  or 9am to 4pm the rest of the year.  During the hours they are allowed on the sand, dogs must be leashed at all times, and of course you need to be prepared to pick up after your dog in the case of a potty break. Here's where to find the official scoop on doggie rules at the beach (click, then scroll to the bottom).

Happily, there are several designated dog beaches that you can take your dog to at any time of day, and where they can run free. Our groomers love to visit Ocean Beach Dog Beach -- you may even have seen them there!

Before taking on such an adventure yourself, be sure your dog is well socialized and completely responsive to your commands. The last thing you want is to be chasing your dog down the beach or into the waves, trying desperately to effect a rescue or intervention. This is not only hazardous to your dog but to other beach goers as well.

A trip to the beach should be all about fun, and looking out for and avoiding hazards is an important part of making your beach outing a success. When swimming, there is the potential of drowning, just like for a human being. Realize that some dogs are stronger swimmers than others, and be sure to bring your pet in from the water before they tire.

Hot summer conditions can be a real threat to your canine friend. On hotter, sunnier days, provide a shady spot for you and your dog to cool off such as under a beach umbrella. Bring along lots of cool clear drinking water and a bowl for your dog as well - they're likely to work up quite a thirst with all that activity.

Think about how hot beach sand can be on your puppy's paws, and make sure that you have a blanket for him to stand on when the sand gets too hot. If you wear flip flops to keep your feet from burning, then it stands to reason that while your puppy is on one of San Diego's dog beaches, he will need protection as well.

And as a matter of common sense, be aware that pretty much anything that can hurt you at the beach can also harm your pet. Jellyfish stings are as much of a threat to dogs as they are to humans; make sure that you watch out as you walk along the waterline to avoid these little stingers. Be careful when you are out there having fun, it's better to be safe than sorry.

A little caution and a bit of planning will ensure that both you and your dog have a blast during your time on the sand. Get out there and have some fun -- see you at the beach!

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