The heat is on, and many of us will be taking a road trip to the beach at some point before the summer is through. Taking the family dog to a pet-friendly beach can be the highlight of the summer. But, is it a good idea to bring a pooch to the shore? Before deciding whether a beach vacation should include the four-legged family members, consider the following:
Is the beach dog-friendly? Meaning, is it legal to have pets on a particular beach? The worst thing that can happen is showing up and finding out pets are not allowed.
If staying overnight, make sure the hotel is pet-friendly and know the size and weight restrictions.
Be clear on the beach rules regarding pets. Some beaches require pets to be leashed at all times, while others allow off-leash play.
Like the dog park, the beach is a place for obedient and friendly dogs. If Fido is antisocial and not used to being in public or new settings, the beach may not be the best idea.
Dogs get dehydrated very quickly. A dog visiting the beach will need access to shade and lots of fresh water to keep hydrated in the heat.
Sunscreen is for dogs too. Pet stores carry dog-specific sunscreen, which should be used on dogs with lighter coats and on sensitive spots such as the pet’s nose and the tips of his ears.
If Fido is adventurous but not a good swimmer, make sure to bring a doggy life jacket.
A secure collar with proper identification tags, up-to-date vaccinations and being microchipped is crucial before traveling in the event that you should become separated. Accidents happen, so be prepared.
The beach is not for every dog. If a dog is stressed easily or doesn’t do well in unfamiliar situations, then it may be best to leave the pets home.
COMMUNITY ART DISPLAY: Collars symbolizing donations of $10 to the Louisiana SPCA will be used to create a community art display at the SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans, to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The collars will remain on display until the grand opening of the SPCA adoption and resource center and clinic Aug. 21-23, when they will be donated to pets in need. The money raised will be used for microchipping. To donate online, visit www.la-spca.org/collar.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Jefferson SPCA will hold an adoption event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Jefferson Feed, 4421 Jefferson Highway. For information, send an email to email@example.com.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Jefferson SPCA will hold an adoption event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Petco, 3520 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Louisiana SPCA will hold an adoption event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, in the courtyard by CC’s Coffee Shop, at 2917 Magazine St., New Orleans. For information, call (504) 368-5191 or visit www.la-spca.org.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.animalrescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.