Are you ready for that luxurious beach vacation but concerned about your special westie on the beach? As dog parents, we want our fur babies to join in on our fun! After all, they are a part of the family! However, it’s essential to ensure your westie can manage the intense heat. Most westies typically have similar responses to the beach.
Do westies like the beach? Yes! Westies usually enjoy sandy strolls along the shore. However, you must consider the age of your westie and the type of beach you’re vacationing to prior to packing up your westie with you. There are some crucial safety factors to consider for your westie before traveling.
If you keep reading, you will discover the appropriate age, important precautions, and the best type of beach terrain to accommodate your westie.
Do Westies Like the Beach?
Almost all dog breeds love beach trips, and the westie breed is one of them! It is possible that your westie in particular doesn’t enjoy the beach since they have preferences just as we do! However, most westies love fun in the sun at the beach!
Before taking your westie to the beach, there are some important necessities to acknowledge:
- His age
- The terrain and territory
- Proper training
If your westie is still a young puppy, it’s best for him to avoid the beach this time. Mature westies not only love the beach but can also manage it more efficiently than westie puppies. Puppies suffer from heat and humidity more than adult westies. In addition to the heat, they also tend to fear the ocean more than adult dogs (they are less experienced!). You never know what your westie might find on the beach, and puppies are more likely to eat whatever they come across more than adult (or more mature) dogs.
Consider the terrain as well. Are there are a lot of rocks on the beach, or is it mainly sandy? Are there any cool spots, like palm trees, that you can rest at? Is there a light or heavy ocean surf? Is there an under-tow? Strong under-tows are capable of swiftly carrying your westie beyond his swimming ability, which could ultimately scare him, or of more concern, cause him to drown. You also need to consider the territory. You obviously need to ensure the beach allows dogs prior to packing up your westie. Also check the local laws, such as whether dogs are required to be on a leash at all times or not. Heavily consider the cleanliness of the beach. Is there a lot of garbage your westie could get into? Because your baby is a digger by nature, he’ll unveil several items in the sand. You don’t want these items to be things such as shards of glass from bottles or metal pieces! This could harm those adorable paws you love to pet and shake! Consider getting a backpack dog carrier for your Westie if you think he will get tired or the terrain might be uncomfortable for your precious (especially if he/she is a puppy).
Proper training is another essential before traveling with your westie. Your westie needs to be mature and trained enough to come when you call for him. He also needs to be obedient and able to rest in one spot without wandering. Additionally, make sure he can refrain from jumping on other beach guests. If your westie can run loose (and if you want him to), he undoubtedly needs excellent training. Otherwise, it will be both difficult chasing him down and potentially dangerous.
What are the Dangers?
Before including your westie on your beach vacay, you need to contemplate the dangers. Do the dangers pose a threat to your westie specifically? Can he handle and avoid these dangers? You need to ensure your westie’s definite safety before traveling with him.
Dangers you might come across:
- Torn knee ligaments because of unstable surface
Does your westie have any allergies? If so, could these be found on the beach? Also account for the severity of his allergy. There are so many unknown substances in the ocean and sand that could trigger an allergic reaction in your westie. Some dogs can be allergic to the bugs, sand, and even the saltwater. If your westie doesn’t possess any allergies that you know of, just keep an eye on him. If swelling occurs, contact a nearby vet immediately.
Sunburns are also a danger for light-colored dogs. Therefore, keep him inside when the sun is most intense and daily apply sunscreen to protect his nose and ears.
Parasites pose a strong threat to dogs! This is the reason many beaches don’t allow dogs. Hookworms, which are intestinal, bloodsucking parasites of dogs, are prevalent at beaches. This parasite is transmitted either orally or through cutaneous migration. Furthermore, larva from dog feces can survive in the sand and infect your westie if he steps in it. Prior to your beach trip, make sure your baby has his heart-worm prevention and is dewormed. Repeat these preventions once you return home as well!
Torn knee ligaments are a real issue when it comes to westies running on the sand. Sand is an unstable surface and westies are prone to knee problems, so it’s probably not a good idea to let your puppy run on the sand, especially when he’s still young and developing. What to do instead? Move towards the water and let him run right on the shore, where the sand is wet and hard.
The Necessary Precautions
Once you determine whether the beach is a safe place for your westie, you need to take the necessary precautions to ensure a simple, secure trip.
As mentioned previously, make sure your westie is dewormed and vaccinated. This will keep not only your westie healthy, but it also will prevent your westie from getting a parasite and spreading it to other vacationing pups.
Consider his weight. Is he overweight? Overweight dogs are less tolerant of hot, intense temperatures and humidity. If you have a nice cushion of time before the trip, work on helping your westie sculpt that beach bod!
It might be time for a trim! During the summer, westies typically flaunt a neat, sleek cut. For the beach, you might want to go with a full cut to reduce the layer of insulation.
Think About Your Beach Plans
What are you planning to do at the beach? What’s your typical beach schedule? You might need to mold the schedule to your westie’s needs.
Believe it or not, many dogs are allowed on boat rides! What if something happens, though, can westies swim? If swimming is a part of your beach activities, your little westie needs a life jacket too! Trust me, you’ll want your camera to capture photos of that! Small dogs are natural swimmers, but this does not imply that they’re efficient swimmers.
Beach walks should be done either in the morning or later in the evening to prevent him from overheating. Also, ensure he has access to cool water constantly.
The Important Preparations
There are several ways to prepare your westie for this exciting beach trip! In addition to the vaccines and deworming mentioned earlier, you also need to pack the medications and foods that he needs. This will help prevent any alterations to his diet and medication regimen that could result in illness.
Do your research! Look up a distinguished vet in the beach area. Therefore, if your westie needs anything or has an emergency allergic reaction, you won’t be ill-prepared.
Pack a leash, a portable dog bowl, a beach umbrella, and plastic bags. The leash will keep your westie with you at all times; losing sight of him can cause danger and panic! While some beaches permit dogs to run loose, it’s safest to keep him on a leash; it won’t hinder his fun! Losing your westie on the beach would be the puppy equivalent to losing your child in the grocery store! The portable dog bowl will provide fresh, cool water for your westie at all times and prevent dehydration. The beach umbrella will offer a great place for your westie to rest and cool down. Lastly, the plastic bags are essential for picking up after your pup’s potty breaks.
1. What should you avoid doing?
First, avoid allowing your westie to roam free to ensure his safety and proximity. If you’re traveling with energetic children, avoid letting them have control of the leash to prevent them from unintentionally pushing your pup’s limits. Don’t leave him in a parked car, even if the windows are down. Lastly, never leave him alone under any circumstances.
2. Is there anything you need to do after the beach?
Once you leave the beach, there are some steps you need to take to keep your westie healthy and clean. It is important to bathe your pup after your fabulous beach outing. A quick rinse will remove the pesky sand grains, salt, and odor. After returning home, a simple visit to the vet for any needed vaccines or check-ups is advised.
Happy vacationing, my friends (including the furry ones)!