Sun, Surf, and Snuggles: Safe Beach Days Tips with Your Furry Friend

Florid dog beach safety

Welcome to the ultimate guide for all you  Florida dog-loving beach enthusiasts out there! Whether you’re a seasoned pet parent or a passionate dog lover, there’s nothing quite like sharing a day of sun, sand, and surf with your furry companion. But before you hit the beach, it’s crucial to ensure your four-legged friend’s safety and well-being. That’s why the Education Committee of the Florida Pet Services Association is here to provide you with the most valuable tips and insights to make your beach day a memorable and safe experience for both you and your beloved pup.

Let’s dive into 11 safety tips to ensure your beach day is paw-sitively awesome!


Beach Rules

Before you pack up your beach gear and excited pup, check the local rules and regulations. Not all beaches and swimming areas allow dogs, and some may have specific restrictions on when or where they can roam. Check out this resource to find dog-friendly beaches near you.

Shade and Rest

The sun can be pretty intense, and your dog can overheat quickly. Watch out for signs of heatstroke, like excessive panting or lethargy. Provide your furry companion with a shady spot to relax and rest. Consider scheduling your beach visits during the cooler parts of the day, early morning or late afternoon, when the sun isn’t as scorching.

Sunscreen for Dogs

Yes, just like us, dogs can suffer from sunburn, especially on areas with sparse fur like their nose and ears. To keep them protected, invest in pet-safe sunscreen. Apply it generously to vulnerable areas to shield them from harmful UV rays by providing a nice big umbrella.

Provide Fresh Water

On a hot day at the beach, your dog can quickly become dehydrated. Bring plenty of fresh, cool water for them to drink throughout the day. Limit their intake of saltwater, which can make them sick.

Prevent Sand Ingestion

While your dog might be tempted to munch on the beach, try to discourage them from eating sand. Ingesting sand can lead to intestinal blockages and impactions, which can be painful and dangerous.

Beware of Wildlife

The beach is teeming with fascinating creatures, but some can be hazardous to your dog. Keep an eye out for dangerous sea animals like stingrays and jellyfish, especially near the shore and nippy crabs on the shore. Make sure to steer your dog clear of any potential dangers.

Paw Protection

The sand can get blisteringly hot, especially during midday. Your dog’s paw pads are sensitive and can easily burn on scorching sand. Consider using protective booties to shield their feet or stick to walking along the water’s edge where the sand is cooler.

Watch the Waves

Not all dogs are natural swimmers, and not all beaches have calm waters. Keep a close eye on your pup when they’re near the waves and watch for signs or distress or rip-tide conditions. Even if they enjoy swimming, consider a doggy life jacket for added safety, especially if they’re not strong swimmers.

Leash Up

Unless you’re in a designated off-leash area, it’s essential to keep your dog on a leash. This prevents them from wandering too far or getting into trouble. Even the most well-behaved dogs can get excited and dash off after a seagull or another dog. Consider a long lead if your dog doesn’t have the best recall.

Clean Up

Nobody likes stepping in surprises left behind by dogs. Always carry poop bags and pick up after your pup. Keeping the beach clean ensures a pleasant experience for everyone and helps protect the environment.

ID and Contact Info

Beach adventures can be unpredictable. Make sure your dog wears proper ID tags with your current contact information. Consider getting them microchipped, too. It’s a small precaution that can make a big difference if your furry friend happens to get lost during the excitement.


As you soak up the sun, let the waves wash over your toes, and your furry friend frolics in the sand, always remember these essential beach safety tips for your dog. The Education Committee of the Florida Pet Services Association is dedicated to keeping pets happy, healthy, and safe, and we hope this guide has been a valuable resource for you.


So, grab your beach gear, pack those doggie essentials, and embark on a fantastic beach adventure with your canine companion. With the right precautions and a lot of love, your beach day is bound to be filled with unforgettable moments. Stay safe, cherish the memories, and continue to be the amazing pet parent or dog lover you are. 

If you have any questions or need more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Your pet’s happiness and well-being are our top priorities



Shannon Hendon, FPSA Ocala Regional Director and the owner/founder of Ocala Pet Sitting, always had a strong desire to work with animals. In late 2005, a friend suggested she start a pet sitting business, leading to the birth of Ocala Pet Sitting. Drawing on her extensive experience, Shannon demonstrates her commitment to continuous education in the pet care industry, earning impressive credentials such as Certified Professional Pet Sitter from PSI, Fear-Free Certified, and Pet CPR & First Aid Certified. She serves on the board of directors for the Florida Pet Services Association as a Regional Director and educator, further solidifying her expertise. At home, Shannon and her husband share their space with a spoiled poodle named Phoebe and a rescue cat, Ozzy.


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