Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gearing Up For the Beach

Recently the sun has decided to make an appearance here in Portland.  This seems to happen ever year at the start of spring and all of us Portlanders get false hope that the weather is changing for the better.  When the sun starts to shine, everyone comes out of hibernation and flocks to outdoor activities.  This weekend we were part of the crowd who flocked to the Oregon coast to soak up the sun in the seventy-five degree weather.


This was Athena's second trip to the beach.  Last time we took her to the coast was in October and it was very clear during that trip that she had never touched sand or stepped in the ocean before.  This weekend Athena was SUPER excited to get down to the beach and she didn't show one ounce of fear about the sand, water, or the hoards of people and dogs that we shared the beach with.


Here's a video of Athena playing fetch on the beach:


The difference between this weekend's beach trip and the trip we took in October is that this time we only went to the coast for a day.  We are used to having a beachfront condo that we can go in and out of to use the restroom, fill our water bottles, and take a break from the sun.  Taking a day trip to the beach with a dog meant that we had to be extra prepared with all of our supplies and we had to park close to a public bathroom (a.k.a. the casino).


As much as we were excited about seventy-five degree weather, we got hot pretty quickly and so did Athena.  There wasn't much shade on the beach and we don't own an umbrella.  We had to rub Athena down with ice packs to keep her cool.  The people sitting next to us were clearly much more prepared for the day at the beach because they brought a small tent to provide them with some much needed shade.


Here's a list of must-have dog supplies that we would bring to our next beach day trip:
  • Small tent (like this one)
  • Doggles (a must-have for keeping sand out of Athena's eyes and protecting them from the sun)
  • Water-proof collar (like this Ruffwear one that we own)
  • Towels for laying on the sand AND extra towels for drying off afterwards
  • Water, water, and more water!  (we kept ours in a cooler-bag with bags of ice to keep it cool)
  • Grooming wipes (these are our favorite) for wiping off sandy paws before getting back in the car
  • Toys like ChuckIt balls, a ChuckIt kick ball, and a frisbee for staying entertained
  • Chilly Bone to keep in the cooler for a quick cool down
  • Back-up leash just in case your leash clip gets sand stuck in it causing it not to close (likes ours did).
  • Sunscreen (like this one) is important for any dog that spends time out in the sun.  Unfortunately I looked at multiple pet stores for sunscreen before our beach trip, but none had any at this time of year.  Your best bet may be to buy it online if planning a trip.

On our way home from the beach we stopped at a Petco Unleashed to give Athena a bath.  Since it was so hot out, she also got a special frozen yogurt treat to enjoy.


What essentials do you pack for a trip to the beach with your pup?

17 comments:

  1. SO JEALOUS!!!! My dad owns a boat and he keeps it up in my Lake George, so I usually go every weekend (except last summer when my heart was big). So, the momma has a whole duffel bag packed with all those good things! Well, except for the chuckit and doggie goggles! She did mention that she might try the goggles this year!
    -Corbin

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  2. We're constantly at the lake beach in the summer and the prep is a bit annoying! 50 foot lead, plus the stake depending on whether the beach has a tree where we can tie the lead, water and collapsible bowl, towels for us and the dogs, a couple toys, zip-lock for phones/camera until I can find a reusable waterproof bag, potty bags, life jacket when we had Rusty, etc. Towel lives permanently on the back seat- have given up on having a sand free home and car. I REALLY want someone to come up with a leash clip that doesn't suck in the sand!

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    1. I totally meant to bring zip-locks for our phones and camera but I spaced it! I will have to remember next time!

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  3. Have you considered a cooling vest? We have one for our pup and he was barely panting at all while chasing other dogs at the park who were panting furiously.

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    1. I never thought about a cooling vest. Do you have a specific one that you like best? I'll have to look and see what I can find on Amazon...

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    2. We've only tried/have one due to it being deeply discounted because a pet store was going out of business. We just tried it out last weekend so still getting used to it. I think it's called "Cool Vest." Ruffwear makes one too.

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  4. I use a lycra skin tight light colored shirt on Koira when it is hot and sunny to help keep her cool. With her super short black coat, she gets hot really fast in the sun, so a pink-and-white camo lycra shirt helps reflect the sun off of her. But I don't pull it out until later in the year, when it really is super hot.

    What size doggles does Athena wear?

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    1. Good idea about the lycra shirt. I believe Athena's Doggles are a size large.....maybe medium though! I saw that they carry them at Petsmart now, so you might be able to try them on there!

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    2. Thanks! I will. I totally need Doggles for Koira. I don't think Pallo would like them much, but I think he might need them too.

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    3. I just checked and Athena has medium sized Doggles!

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  5. Is that a Yoguhund I spy?
    We are lucky to have a winter rental at the beach. Ok, well we're up the hill from the beach, but its only 4-5 houses between us and it. So we can run back home several times if we need to. Otherwise we pack the dog pack with necessities. We've never stayed out long enough during high sun to really need sunscreen though. And I'm not sure I completely trust the cost compared to human sunscreen versus the product you are getting. We normally just go out in the afternoon or early morning for a couple hours and again at night (we work third shift). The beach we go to is pretty small (Short Sands York Beach, ME) and has a pavillion as well as grassy spaces with trees for shade as well, which helps.

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    1. It is Yoguhund! They carry them at Petco Unleash, so Athena got one after her bath =)

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  6. Looks like a beautiful day! Athena has really got her fetch game down. I use sunscreen for babies on the dogs which works well and isn't harmful.

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