The constant exposure to water and sun is very drying to any pet’s coat and skin. This is particularly true of chlorinated pool water and ocean water, in which chemicals, and salt can remove the vital oils and moisture from your pet’s coat. Fresh water, of course, is less damaging, but a whole summer of swimming in it can irritate a dog or cat just as much as seawater.
The results of a summer at the beach can take a real toll on a pet, leaving him with dry hair, itchy skin, and a bleached coat. A good shampoo and moisturizer are a must for any pet who’s going to spend a lot of time in the water. If your basset hound is going to be at the shore for two months, you should rinse him off daily to get most of the salt out and followed up with a good conditioner once a week. Don’t let a dry coat go to long. If you neglect it, your pet will scratch himself into a serious skin problem that can only be handled by a veterinarian.
Another hazard of swimming and water sports is the amount of time spent in the sun. We’ve all learned in recent years that a gorgeous tan is not necessarily the best thing for our skin, and same is true for our pets. Overexposure can be harmful to skin,coat,eyes, and paws, and ultimately the life of the dog or cat. Too many rays can damage the eyes, and running on hot sand all day can create sore, sensitive pads.
Keep an eye out for wildlife, particularly at the beach, Sand fleas can be annoying, but a horseshoe crab, man-of-war or jelly fish can cause a nasty sting. If your dog has never seen one of these creatures before, he’ll probably want to stick his nose right up against it and examine it closely. It’s always a better to steer him away from sea creatures that might prove harmful to him.
Never wade in a rocky area. A sharp rock or piece of coral can cut right through the soft flesh of the paw.
****Check out the article on “Heat Stroke” at www.thepetshow.com