Every year, Americans make 2 billion visits to the beach, according to Sandsaver. As the nation’s dog owners love to spend so much time with their pets, a trip to the beach to exercise your hound is the ideal day out together. But what rules must you follow when you head to the sea with your pooch?

Recall ready

75% of the nation’s dogs never receive any type of training from a specialist dog trainer, according to the American Pet Product Association. If your dog hasn’t been trained to come back when called, then you need to spend time practising this before you hit the beach. Your dog is sure to be fascinated by the new smells he comes across at the beach, other dogs, and families enjoying a picnic together. However, items such as dead fish are dangerous to dogs so you need to be able to call your dog away from any he comes across. Similarly, not everyone is a dog-person and many people are scared of them, so be sure your dog will come to you when called.

Stick to dog-friendly beaches

There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches across the country, but you must make sure you check the status of the beach before taking your four-legged pooch along with you. Some beaches that permit dogs only allow them at certain times of the day, depending on the season. Other beaches have certain areas when dogs are permitted and some beaches specify that dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. Coastal areas suitable for children are often good for dogs. This is because they have higher safety standards, such as lifeguards and fresh running water. They also often have connecting dog parks which are great for energetic hounds.

Clean up after your pooch

One gram of dog poop has around 23 million faecal coliform bacteria in it. If this enters the sea, it contaminates it and can cause a serious public health issue. You also need to bear in mind that other beach users don’t want to sit next to or stand in your dog’s waste. Carry plenty of dog poop bags with you and a poop scoop, so you can clear up all of your dog’s mess as and when he goes.

Keep an eye at all times

Never leave your dog unattended when you’re at the beach. In fact, don’t take your eyes off your mutt at all. A dog that isn’t under control by his owner could run off, bother other beach-goers, get shooed on, and become lost in the process. It’s also important to remember that two million dogs are stolen in The States every year. A dog tracker is an effective way of tracking your pet if this happens, so make sure you’re prepared with one before you head to the beach.

The beach is the ideal place to take your dog for a day out. But, to ensure that the day is enjoyable for all, you must be a courteous owner that takes steps to keep your dog and other beach visitors safe and happy.