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As people look forward to the easing of lockdown restrictions, many will be looking to book a staycation with their pet pooches. But which popular seaside location is the most dog-friendly? As part of their Dog-Friendly Beaches campaign, researchers at Uswitch have crunched the numbers to reveal Devon as the second most dog-friendly seaside destination in the UK and Cornwall as third. Along with this, Wendy Kruger, Dog Behaviour & Training Specialist at Wood Green has provided comments on how to prepare your dog for a seaside staycation this summer.
Devon was revealed to have 68 beaches that are open for our furry friends and is home to a number of pretty bays including Saunton Beach. The bay only requires your dog to be on a lead for the first five minutes of your walk, leaving them plenty of room to run around freely. Cornwall has 54 beaches that welcome dogs and is home to a number of pretty bays including Penhale Sands. The beach has no restrictions on pets, meaning your dogs are free to run around as they please.
With many people having purchased dogs during the lockdown period, taking them out to the beach or driving with your pup can be a big step for owners. That's why with the help of Wendy Kruger, Dog Behaviour & Training Specialist at Wood Green, we have the answers on how to prepare your dog for the beach:
*Do you have any advice for first time dog-owners when taking their pup to the beach for the first time?
Wendy tells us, "As we approach the holiday and travel season, ensure your dog's microchip and collar tag details are correct – just in case. Get used to checking ground surface temperatures before you take your dog out, as dry sand can be too hot for dogs' paws on sunny days. To check the ground temperature, place the back of your hand on the ground. If it's too hot to hold comfortably for at least five seconds, it's too hot for dogs' paws."
*How can dog-owners prepare for it? What training can you practice ahead of time?
Wendy suggests, "Practising basic, reward-based training when out and about will help your dog to maintain focus and engagement on walks. Recall is also an area that needs particular attention. Even if your dog has a great recall at home, it's not something that can be guaranteed in unfamiliar environments with exciting new distractions. Games with toys are a fantastic way to help your dog engage with you when there are other distractions around."
Wendy continues, "Packing tips for a day at the beach with your dog, for example a beach umbrella for shade, plenty of fresh water for drinking and rinsing, old towels etc, are essential. Always pack fresh water and a bowl, as well as some tasty training treats and a toy. If your dog goes in the sea, rinse them down so they don't lick the salty water off. Sometimes it's not suitable to have your dog off thelead, so take a harness and longline lead."
Wendy reminds us that, "Dogs are highly susceptible to heatstroke, so it's critical to take precautions when the temperatures are higher too. It's a good idea to take something to provide shade, like an umbrella or windbreaker, and there are also cool mats and cooling coats available, which can be effective if used as per the instructions. You'll also want some blankets or towels to protect your car from wet, sandy dogs on the drive home!"
To read more, visit https://www.uswitch.com/car-insurance/guides/uk-dog-friendly-beaches-mapped/