Beach pet tips for our Alexandria, Marrickville and Mascot pet owners.

Beach pet tips for our Alexandria, Marrickville and Mascot pet owners.

The weather in Sydney is starting to heat up and the sand and waves are becoming more alluring. Taking your dog (or cat) down to the beach in Mascot or by Tempe can be a fun activity for all, but there are some potential vet hazards that need to be understood.

The sand between the paws can be such a nice feeling for your pet, however, with a bit of a gust the granules can get lodged in your pets’ eyes and can cause a nasty conjunctivitis. For this reason, if it is windy out, avoid heading down to the beach, especially windy ones like at Mascot.

Pottering around the rockpools with your kids can be fun as you explore all the little creatures taking up residence in the nooks and crannies. We need to remember that our pets’ pads are sensitive and can easily be cut by oyster shells. Consider fitting special dog booties to your pets feet to avoid a skin infection.

Some pets (especially herding breeds) can get overly excited when seeing waves for the first time. Make sure your pet can swim safely in the surf first and keep a close eye on them when they’re bounding through the foam.

Heat exhaustion can occur very quickly at the beach given the temperature, direct sun and rampant activity that often occurs. Limiting the time down at the shore to no more than 2 hours, providing a source of shade and always carrying a portable bowl of water that is kept topped up can help prevent the effects of heat exhaustion.

The reflection of the sun from the water and sand makes UV rays especially harmful to both us and our pets at the beach. If your pet has any hairless areas such as behind the nose or on the ears, then I’d recommend applying a layer of non-toxic zinc to avoid a sunburn. Enjoy the high-quality beaches around Mascot this summer, and contact your vet if your pet has any illness.