We love taking our puppy to the dog beach. Max our Miniature Labradoodle was timid at first but now LOVES the beach.
- The sun is out
- Your puppy is old enough
- Nothing planned except a puppy fun day
Then it is time to give your puppy one of the most fun and rewarding days! It is time for your Puppy’s first beach trip!
Here are the seven most important things you need to know before you taking your puppy on the beach to make everything run perfectly.
Bring the Right Stuff
When introducing your Puppy to the beach, you will need to bring all the right sutff.
Your packing list is surprisingly extensive for a puppy trip to the beach.The list below is the essentials. Follow this beach packing guide and you will be ready for a fun beach day with your puppy.
A waterproof harness
Selecting a waterproof harness means that you are ready for fun at the beach without having to take the harness on and off if the puppy heads towards the water.
It is important to have ID attached to the harness, particularly if you are taking the dogs collar (and ID) off for the beach visit.
We are lucky that our everyday harness that we use for our miniature labradoodle puppy is durable and waterproof.
We selected and tested this harness for this reason. There are quite a few Doodle puppy friendly harnesses out there, but this is our favourite.
A note about waterproof harnesses, collars and leads: Almost anything metal or fabric will eventually break down with salt water exposure. Buying something durable and designed for beach wear will make this happen more slowly. However expect to have to replace your harness at some point.
Extra tip: Puppies grow quickly and some Doodle breeds end up very large! (Think Bernedoodles or Goldendoodles standard size). Join Facebook groups in your local community, you are often able to pick up second hand puppy harnesses of premium quality (like our favourite water resistant harness).
Leash for the Beach
You will need to bring a regular dog leash. This packing item seems simple, but it is one that people often forget. Particularly if they have a Doodle puppy that is extra small (or CRAZY small like a Teacup Goldendoodle).
Even if you can easily carry your dog, bring a leash. On a dog beach trip there is going to be wet sand and maybe even some mud or dirt.
Puppy Poo bags
You can guess why you will need these! An excited puppy will run around and likely drop some poo at some point during the beach trip. Do your part in keeping the beach clean and fresh and get rid of the dog poo.
Beach Friendly Dog Toys
You will need to bring toys for your puppy that can get wet. Something durable is a great option! We use water resistant dog proof tennis balls like these, as they are cheap and great fun to play with.
The toys at a dog beach are very likely to be shared with other dogs at some point. Don’t take a favourite toy that your puppy may be super protective over!
Our puppy LOVES this particular Kong toy, so we wouldn’t risk taking it to the beach where it might get lost!
There is a lot of action and excitement at the puppy beach. Not to mention the ocean and waves. Toys and balls can go missing easily in this environment. Don’t take anything too expensive! Plan to be okay if it is lost, and be delighted when it makes it back home.
Towels for everyone!
You will require more beach towels than you may think for your trip to the beach.
- The puppy will need a beach towel (or two!)
- You will need a beach towel (even if you are not swimming prepare to be splashed)
- And then you will required a towel or blanket for the car afterwards. This will be comfortable for your tired puppy and also protect the car seat.
Natural and Safe (and cheap) Puppy Shampoo
Finally make sure you have good quality Puppy Shampoo
- A high quality puppy friendly dog shampoo should be at home ready for your return
- You WILL need to wash your puppy when you get home
- More details on post-beach grooming below
- Select a natural tear-free puppy shampoo like Bert’s honey puppy shampoo. You don’t need to bust the bank, a healthy natural cheap shampoo like this will do the trick and protect your Puppy coat.
Following Local Rules at the Beach
Once you are at the beach you gotta follow the local laws.
We are here to have fun with our puppy. Let’s not cause trouble!
- Only go off leash if its an area that is approved.
- In Australia we have plenty of dog friendly beaches, but not are are off-leash. Even if the off-leash beaches are crowded – you need to follow the rules or risk fines (ABC news)
- In the USA cities will have laws you can look up online (or check sites like Bring Fido that list dog friendly beaches in the US)
- The same in the UK – there are dog friendly off-leash beaches but you need to obey the local guidelines
- Protect the dunes –
- Some places have strict bans on dune runs – so stay well clear with your puppy
- Dunes are vital parts of the ecosystem and play home to many plants and animals
- They also support the integrity and structure of the beach
- We want to have fun not hurt the environment
- There is so much space to play on the actualy beach!
- Keep the collar or harness tag on for identification
- Sometimes people tag the collar off because they are going in the water
- We attach a permanent ID tot he waterproof harness
- Make sure your phine number is attached in some way to the dog at all times
- If your dog goes missing having the phone number ready is a blessing
- You need to supervise your puppy the entire time –
- Going to the beach with a puppy is a full supervision activity
- Your eyes need to be on the puppy at all times.
- Watch for dangers, watch for issues
- Beware of other dogs.
- A vocal dog owner is happy one.
- Announce that your puppy is friendly! Other dog owners will respond and let you know if the Puppies are a good match to play, or if you should find some new friends instead
- IF you notice aggression, quietly tip off other dog owners.
- We are working together to give our dogs a fun time.
- Part of working together is Cleaning after yourself –
- Dogs will pee EVERYWHERE on the dog beach
- You will surely accidentally step in some sand dry pee on your Puppy trip!
- This is part of life, but you must clean up your puppies poo.
- At the beach cleanup your dog poo. Every single one, every single time.
- Cleaning up after your dog consistently is an important part of bathroom training a puppy
Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion
Humans sometimes love to bake and tan in the sun. Puppies do NOT!
Make your trip to the beach short to the point. The trip is for the Puppy, not for you.
Excessive sun baking or multiple hours spent at the beach can harm your young Puppy.
If you are going to be at the beach for anything over an hour you will need shade. Make sure that your dog has a shady break area. Under a beach umbrella, tree or picnic bench. Alternatively take a Puppy tent for them to cool in.
Bring plenty of fresh, cool water and a doggie bowl.
- Refill the water bowl frequently
- Don’t let the water go hot in the sun.
- Encourage freuquent Puppy sips – don’t let them get thirsty.
- Most dogs won’t try and drink ocean water – but never put anything past a thirsty puppy
- Eliminate the risk keep Puppy hydrated
Watch for warning signs of overheating in dogs, which include:
- Excessive/rapid panting and drooling
- Coordination problems and difficult walking.
- Vomiting and or diarrhea. Sometimes the vomiting is
- Sometimes the vomiting is clear and just looks like water
- Keep an incredibly close eye on your Puppy to make sure they are not vomiting in the Ocean where you cannot easily see
If you notice these signs it is time to head home immediately. Hydrate your Puppy, cool them down and monitor them closely for improvement.
Top Tip to Avoid Heat Exhaustion When Taking Puppy on Beach
The peak time for heat exhaustion is when the beach is hottest. This is the middle of the day!
To keep your puppy’s first beach trip perfect consider heading to the beach first thing in the morning or later in the evening. When taking puppy to beach morning is often the best time.
If you are taking puppy on the beach in the evening, head well before the sun sets. You do NOT want to miss litter or dead fish and have your Puppy eat it. Yuck! (Australia Post Article)
Ultra small dogs like a teacup or toy Goldendoodle are extra prone to heat exhaustion. Be careful with miniature breeds!
When to Head Home
So you’ve been at the beach for an hour! For most puppies this is the maximum length of their first beach visit.
Your puppy has had fun, met some friends, danced in the waves.
Probably eaten a little bit of sand too.
So what is next?
Answer: It is time to go home.
- If it is a successful beach trip your puppy is going to be exhausted.
- Because they are SUPER excited they might not seem tired
- But their puppy heart has been pumping at a million miles a minute and the Puppy is tired.
There is no time for a trip to the shops or a long lunch with friends. A tired Puppy needs to go to a safe place it can sleep and recover from the excitement and heat.
Want to reward your Puppy? Why not use the rest of the weekend while your puppy naps to make your own DIY Apartment Porch Potty! It’s a fun DIY project and super simple
Rinse and Shower – Grooming After the Beach
Straight after you are done with taking your puppy on the beach, you need to rinse the puppy with clean fresh water.
Fresh cool water from a tap or beach shower is best
You can also bring bottles of water, but you might need a fair bit to wash a larger puppy!
It is important to rinse the Puppy before the salt water dries. The water also helps cool the Puppy down. This can help avoid heat stroke.
When rinsing it is important to get the water underneath the harness and collar. It is really important not to let and salt water get trapped and remain on the coat.
Once back home you need to wash your puppy with a gentle dog shampoo. This step CANNOT be skipped.
Sand get stuck in Puppy coats and scratches and irritates skin, which can cause a rash and pain. Thorough washing at the beach and then at home is vitally important to keep the Puppy healthy.
On top of this, the salt water can damage your puppy coat. By rinsing at the beach then shampooing at home, you will protect the coat.
My Labradoodle is non-shedding. Other dogs like Goldendoodles and Bernedoodles also have non-shedding coats. This means that once the coat is dry I have to take an extra step and brush the puppy coat. This grooming issue is important for ALL of the many types of Oodle dogs breeds.
Lightly brush the coat after coat is dry to be 100% sure there is no matting round the harness and collar.
How old should puppy be before beach trip?
Your puppy is old enough to go the beach around two weeks after its final vaccinations. If you go earlier there is risk they might be around unvaccinated or sick dogs.
A common virus your puppy could catch if not immune is Parvo. Do everything you can to prevent your puppy from catching this terrible condition.
A quick phone call to your Vet Clinic will give specific advice for your Pup!
Can my puppy go out on the rocks?
Some beaches are rocky and people like to walk out onto the rocks. As a general rule, it is best to NOT take your puppy out to these areas. The risk of falling or cutting themselves on something sharp is too high.
There is also a risk at some beaches of waves hitting the rocks. This can be frightening for the puppy, or even wash them away! It is to not take your puppy out on the rocks.
Conclusion of the Puppy’s First Beach Visit
The first trip to the dog beach is such a fun time for a young puppy! These Puppy tips apply to ultra small dogs of all ages. Super cute teddy-bear dogs like the Toy Goldendoodle LOVE the beach, but just like puppies they can get tired easily.
However before taking puppy on the beach you need to know what to bring, and how to prepare.
Beach visits are already one of my happy Labradoodle puppy’s favourite things! Reward your tired puppy with a nap, some treats (or healthy puppy treats like carrots) and relax!
That’s the seven most important things to know BEFORE taking your puppy on the beach.