Now that Summer has arrived it’s time to pack up the family and head to your favorite beach. You’re probably wondering, can Pugs go to the beach and what do I need to keep in mind? I’m going to share everything we’ve learned about Pugs and beaches.
Can Pugs Go To The Beach?
Yes, Pugs can go to the beach. But take watch them closely as Pugs cannot swim, this breed is susceptible to heatstroke, and the hot sand could burn their paws. Take precautions if you decide to take your Pug to the beach.
That’s the short answer, but there’s a lot to know when taking your Pug to the beach, please read the following tips. It could be the difference between having a great day or the most stressful day.
Before we get into the safety tips, let’s go over the most appropriate age you should take your Pug to the beach…
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When Can Pug Puppies go to the Beach?
Ideally, it’s safe to take your Pug puppy once they reach 16 weeks of age or 4 months old. Provided they have received all their vaccinations.
At this age, puppies should have completed their third and final round of vaccinations. Vets recommend waiting two weeks after their final vaccination, before taking them out in public.
The waiting period is vital, as it ensures the vaccine is fully effective before exposing your puppy to the public.
If your Pug is old enough or meets the criteria above, it’s time to pack get their belongings ready. However, it’s not as easy as just packing them in the car and heading to the beach.
There’s a lot to know to ensure they stay safe while at the beach.
Pug Beach Guide: 21 Safety Tips and Advice
In this guide, you’ll find both tips and advice for keeping your dog from getting lost, drowning, getting sunburned, and basic overall beach safety tips.
1. Find a Dog Friendly Beach
It’s wise to check ahead to make sure dogs are allowed on your beach of choice, and if so, what specific rules apply.
Some beaches don’t allow dogs and will ban you just for stepping on the beach with your Pug. Other beaches have set hours for dogs. For instance, your dog can only be at the beach from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
One of the beaches where I live, you can’t have a dog on the beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it’s fine anytime during the winter.
The rules change throughout the year, and it’s up to you to stay updated and know the rules.
2. Prepare for the Long Car Ride
If you’re driving to the beach, it may be your Pug’s first time riding in the car. Puppies can get car sick, so it’s best to get them for a few test drives before the big day.
Take plenty of water to prevent your pup from overheating. Depending on how far the drive is, you’ll want to allow for plenty of stops, so your Pug won’t have to hold their bladder too long.
Pugs can hold their bladder for a good while (find out how long), but your dog will be more comfortable when they can get out of the car, stretch their legs, and take care of business.
Also, don’t forget the doggie car seat. I’ve written an in-depth guide about the best car seats for Pugs, to help you find the ones with the best ratings for your baby.
In some states throughout the United States and other countries like the UK, it is illegal to have a dog roaming loose in the car. You could be fined, or worse you could be in an accident injuring or killing your canine friend.
Did you know? If a car traveling at 25mph crashes, a dog can be projected forward at a force of equal to 40 times its weight. (source)
3. Make the Most of the Mornings and Evenings
Pugs are a brachycephalic breed, which means they don’t do well in extreme heat or humid weather. Their short nose makes it challenging for them to breathe when they become too hot.
Your pup will be more comfortable at the beach when it’s cooler.
If your Pug can’t stay alone because you’re staying in a hotel, then consider going to the beach early and leaving midday. Also, make sure you take plenty of water and some frozen snacks to help keep them hydrated.
Regardless don’t keep your Pug on the beach too long.
4. Use Flea and Tick Protection
Sand fleas are common at the beach. While not normally found on hot sunny days, they come out in the early morning and evening hours when it’s cooler.
They are also more active on the beach right after it has rained. Apply flea and tick protection prior to your visit, so your Pug won’t be itching like crazy the whole time.
I’ve written a review of some of the best flea and tick prevention for Pugs.
5. Keep Your Pug on a Leash
Most beaches require dog owners to keep their pet’s on a leash while visiting the beach, especially, during the peak season. Other beaches allow unleashed dogs, but only during the nonpeak season, or in designated areas.
If your Pug has been trained properly and won’t run away, it’s fine to remove the leash while sitting under the umbrella. Otherwise, keep them on a short leash.
6. Don’t Let Your Dog Eat the Sand or Trash
Most dogs don’t enjoy the taste of sand, but they may swallow it by accident. This usually happens when they are digging, repeatedly picking up sandy toys and balls.
If your Pug ingests too much sand, it can cause a blockage in the intestine, called sand impaction. If your playful Pug has their favorite toy, make sure you put it on a blanket so there’ll be less chance of swallowing sand.
7. Fill Any Holes Your Pug Digs
Pugs love digging in the sand as much as other breeds. Don’t forget to fill the holes back in before you leave the beach.
Some beaches have restrictions about where you dig. For instance, the beach we visited restricted digging any holes on beach strands larger than 16″ deep x 5″ wide, other than toy shovels by children.
9. Watch What Your Dog Eats and Where They Step
Thousands of people visit the beach every year, to fish, swim, and just enjoy the sand and water. It also means your dog could be exposed to foreign objects such as fishing hooks, seashells, discarded trash, etc.
The unique smells can be tempting for your dog to try to eat something they shouldn’t. It’s important to ensure your pet doesn’t eat something they shouldn’t, especially, with all the temptations they’ll be exposed to.
This includes the wildlife. If your dog has never been to the beach they may be tempted to chase, play or even kill some wildlife.
Don’t let them disturb any turtle eggs, or touch any dead washed-up fish on the shore. This includes seaweed.
That said, protect your Pugs paws by making sure they don’t step on sharp objects that can cause open wounds.
10. Keep Your Pug Hydrated
This breed does not cope well in direct sunlight and heat. So it’s important to take plenty of water and frozen treats to keep them hydrated.
There are plenty of portable dog water bowls to choose from and we’ve written a whole article on the best bowls for Pugs that work for both water and food.
11. Provide Plenty of Shade
Make sure you have adequate protection from the sun for your four-legged friend. A big beach umbrella can work, but if it’s not big enough, your Pug will be lying in the hot sun panting like crazy.
Instead, consider a pop-up beach tent as it offers more protection than an umbrella. On hot days, it won’t take long for your Pug to suffer from heatstroke.
You can see the shade tent we loved using whenever Mindy came with us to the beach.
If possible, avoid taking your Pug to the beach during the hottest time of the day, which according to the Almanac, is 3:00 pm in the summer.
Be sure to read our full guide on how to keep your Pug cool in the Summer.
12. Take a Cooling Gel Mat
Don’t forget to take a cooling gel for your Pug to lay on. Sand can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more depending on the ambient temperature. A cooling gel provides a safe cool surface for your Pug to lay on while visiting the beach.
13. Don’t Let Your Pug Drink Seawater
Don’t let your Pug drink the saltwater. Consuming a small amount should be fine, but the salt can cause your Pug to become dehydrated or worse get salt poisoning.
Also, seawater contains bacteria and parasites that can make your pup sick.
14. Be Careful Near The Water!
Regardless of what you see on social media and YouTube, this breed cannot swim. These small dogs can easily be swept out to sea by a strong tide or covered by large rolling waves.
Avoid letting your Pug get in or near the water, without you nearby, especially, on windy days.
If your four-legged friend thinks they are a water dog and can’t get enough of it.
You basically put a stake in the sand and tie the cable to the stake. This prevents your Pug from going to far, so you won’t have to worry about them. That said, they should still wear a life jacket when they are near the water.
You can check the tie-out cables on Amazon and Chewy below. They are available in many different lengths.
That said, if your Pug is scared of the water, don’t force try to force them to go in.
15. Get Your Pug A Life Jacket
Don’t forget the doggie life jacket. If your Pug sees you in the water, they’ll be tempted to follow you in.
If you want some peace of mind while you’re swimming or just enjoying the beach, then I recommend you buy a cute life jacket for them. I’ve reviewed some of the best life jackets for Pugs to help you find the right one.
14. Use Doggie Sun Protection
Similar to how you use sun protection, your Pug needs it as well. There are several types of sun protection creams available on the market for dogs.
Overexposure to the sun can cause your Pug’s nose to become sunburnt. When this happens, it causes their nose to become painful and cracked.
Not only is it painful, but it can be detrimental to their health. Here’s what to do when your Pug’s nose is cracked.
15. Consider Dog Sunglasses for Eye Protection
Doggie sunglasses not only shields your Pug from the sun, but they provide protection against the sand and other irritants. There are several cool sunglasses available on the market, so consider investing in a good pair to protect your dog’s eyes.
We never used sunglasses on Mindy, but if we had we would’ve probably chosen these doggy sunglasses and goggle on Amazon.
16. Make Sure Your Pug Is Up to Date With Their Treatments
You don’t want your Pug getting ill after a day on the beach. Believe it or not, there are risks to your pup, from ticks, fleas, and parasites, and bacterial infections that can be abundant on hot beaches.
For instance, according to Rose Taroyan of Keck Medicine of USC hookworms (Necator Americanus) larvae, affects people and animals when they walk through contaminated soil or sand.
According to PetMD Leptospirosis is a waterborne disease that affects both humans and dogs. Canines are at higher risk of becoming effect than people.
Vets recommend not letting your Pug drink water from pools, lakes, or the beach. If it’s your first time at the beach, don’t let your dog walk through any body of water you’re not familiar with.
17. Don’t Give Your Pug a Summer Cut
Many pet owners will shave their dogs before going to the beach. Never shave your Pug, as it will only make them more susceptible to heat-related issues.
Your Pugs fur helps insulate them from both the cold and the heat. Unlike other dogs, brachycephalic dogs have a harder time staying cool in the heat.
Their fur protects them by helping them stay cool and helps prevent sunburn. If this is your first time owning a Pug, I’ve written an article on why you should never shave a Pug.
18. Clean Up After Your Pug
Don’t forget to pack some doggie bags so you can pick up after your Pug. Many beaches will fine you for not picking up afteryour dog.
Plus its only good manners, no one wants to step in your dog’s poop.
19. Bathe Your Pug After a Day at the Beach
Wash your Pug after every beach visit. Your Pug will likely be covered with sand, salt, and even some parasites hiding in the wrinkled fur.
After a good rinsing, check your Pug’s ears for any leftover sand or debris. Dirty ears can cause nasty ear infections or ear mites.
20. Avoid The Boardwalk
Most dogs are not allowed on the wooden parts of the boardwalk. The boardwalk is usually packed with people and if the beach allows pets, ensure they stay on the leash.
Keep your Pug away from people, not everyone likes dogs or wants to be around them.
Pet owners who violate the rules can face fines between $100 and $250 or more.
20. Consider Pet Insurance for Your Pug
You may want to consider getting pet insurance before your trip. Having pet insurance will bring you peace of mind in case something does happen.
Accidents do happen when we least expect it and having pet insurance will allow you to get your Pug the proper treatment you need without having to worry about the financial aspect of it.
Pugs are a part of your family and there’s no reason why they can’t enjoy a day at the beach. As long as you take precautions and understand the risks, your pup should be fine.
Understanding the rules can prevent you from forking out hundreds of dollars in fines and keep your four-legged friend safe.