By Mriganka Chandra*

All pets are extraordinary in their habits and reveal a million ways and trick every single day to bring a huge smile to our faces.

But what about your pet’s happiness? What is their happy place?

Have you figured it out yet?

I most certainly have!  

My goldie’s happy place is loads and loads of water!! Someone whom you may call an absolute water baby, my one-year-old golden retriever Joey, lives up to his breed by being a crazy, hyperactive doggo running here and there, ready to seek your attention 24*7.

After being with Joey for 8 months, I ultimately decided to take him to a beach. With all my apprehensions of safety, being a dog mom is not easy, I still had a feeling that he would go crazy seeing a large water body around him and have the time of his life. Confirming to my instincts that is precisely how things took place.

 While we’re on the topic, let me first jot down a short checklist of all the required things that you need to carry before having a fun day at a beach with your dog.

Leash – Your dog should be tied on a leash at all times while on the beach as they could run far away, get themselves into trouble or venture further into water. It is beneficial if they are wearing a harness as it keeps a stronghold on the body and does not pull their neck to create discomfort.

 Towels – A set of two towels is mandatory to wipe water and sand off their body. 

Water/Food Bowls – One often tends to miss this but a water bowl is particularly significant as a dog gets dehydrated very quickly on beach. As far as food is concerned, avoid giving meals to them if you’re not planning to stay there for a longer duration. In that case, carry a small snack for them along with you. 

A Set of Sheets – One for yourself and the other for your dog to sit or be cleaned on. 

Biscuits – A handful of treats should always be kept handy. 

Poop Scooper – Super essential to carry. In case of an incident, you should be prepared well in advance. 

Toys – Keep desired toys with you to play with your pooch on the beach. It is advisable to carry a frisbee or toys that can be fetched easily by the furry one. 

Brush – If your pooch has heavy fur then it is inclined to get tangled due to water and sand. You must brush them once after wiping them with a towel. 

Pet First Aid Kit – As pet parents we should always have a pet first aid kit at home and should most definitely carry it when proceeding to the beach. Accidents always happen when you’re ill-prepared! 

E-Collar – In case of a medical emergency, you must carry an e-collar along with you. 

Let us now skip to the D-day when we decided to make this family trip to the beach. The beach was about two hours from my place. After packing up all the things mentioned in the checklist we headed out in our vehicle. Joey was thoroughly rejoicing long drive unaware of the major fun that awaited him. 

We reached the beach at around 4 in the evening. The moment we got Joey out of the car he was zapped to see so much water. Fortunately, the beach was empty. For as long as I could see I couldn’t spot a single person, which was a major boon and gave us privacy. We took Joey towards water. At first, he was slightly skeptical of being around so much water and got scared of large waves. He went away and hid behind my dad who was sitting comfortably on a sheet and reading his book.  We realized that there was no point in pushing him to come inside water, so my brother and I casually started playing in water with our mother. Joey saw us comfortably enjoying ourselves and his attention-seeking self couldn’t stay behind. There he came hopping like a bunny into the water where a huge wave drenched him from tip to toe. To our surprise, he did not get frighten and cheerfully began splashing and enjoying inside water along with the waves. That was it! Joey was unstoppable after that. He was curious about the tides and the ripples they left behind. We played a bunch of fetch games on the sand calling him from one end to the other and trust me guys… I had never seen my pooch that joyous! He would run all over the place, in and out of water, make circles around us, dig sand, and run behind birds. He was super elated.

 That was not the last highlight of that day; Joey also made an indie friend on the beach with whom he went for a short stroll and then came back running into the water as he got fascinated by the way my brother and I were throwing water on each other, he surely did not want to miss out on the fun. (My dog was born with major FOMO) Before leaving for home, we spread a sheet and cleaned Joey with a clean towel.

There are some additional aspects that we must keep in mind while planning a beach visit: 

  • Not all pooches love being around water and beaches. Most of them would just prefer sitting on sand or taking a walk as waves startle them. Be aware of your pooch! 
  • Be sure and alert of your surroundings on the beach as strays may be around and your pooch could get into an uncalled fight. 
  • Do not let your pooch venture far from you; the proximity should always be close to prevent any unfortunate accident. 
  • Keep the period of your pooch being in water short as salty seawater is an irritant to their eyes and skin. 
  • Make sure to give your pooch a thorough bath after taking them home to wash all the sand off their body. Brush your pooch after the bath. Pay special attention while cleaning their paws, tail, face, and ears. Sand can cause severe itching and can lead to skin allergies. 
  • If you notice any signs of allergy or incessant itching after your beach visit, do consult your veterinary immediately.

We left the beach after 3 hours of endless fun, running, and chasing! Our whole family had spent together some beautiful moments after quiet a long time. In these dreadful covid times, memories like these keep me hopeful of a better, safer, and brighter future, where we could all relive the wonderful days! Amen!

*Author is a 23 year old political science graduate, a teacher, a passionate dog parent, and a content writer, who finds solace in being surrounded by dogs and books at all times in life. Her blog ‘Paint it Olive Green’ represents her personal life experiences in the military surroundings, as a student and a dog parent. For any guidance on dog parenting, she can be reached on her dog blogging account on Instagram @dogistaan.

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