In New York State, the law requires that dogs be leashed unless otherwise posted. Check your beach or park for signs indicating places and times where dogs are allowed to be off-leash, and restrict untethered play to these areas. It is essential that your dog is well-identified should she become lost. Dog tags that include your pet’s name and your phone number should be attached to their collar at all times. Microchips are a permanent, highly effective way to identify missing pets and return them safely to their owners.
The law isn’t the only reason to keep your dog on a leash. Unpredictable environmental factors such as traffic or wild animals can be hazardous to your pet. And while your dog may be friendly and enjoy playing with everyone it meets, not all dogs will respond well to this attention. If your dog wants to play with others, be sure to ask the owner if it is ok and carefully supervise.
State law also requires that all dogs have current rabies vaccination. Be sure that your pet is up to date and wearing his most recent rabies tag. Immunization against other communicable diseases such as lyme, leptospirosis, and bordetella may also be appropriate, depending upon your pet’s location and lifestyle. It is also always a good idea to be vigilant about flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. In addition to topicals and collars, there are now chewable flea and tick prevention tablets that do not restrict your dog’s water activities. Ask your veterinarian for more information and recommendations tailored to your pet.
When walking your dog on the beach, keep an eye out for washed-up sea creatures and other hazards that should be avoided. It is a good idea to bring fresh water and a clean bowl wherever you go with your dog. Collapsible bowls are a good option for travel. Also bring a small bag with some of your pet’s favorite treats. Dogs should be cleansed with fresh water when they are finished swimming. With long exposure, salt from the ocean or chlorine from the pool can irritate the skin. Rinse with a hose or give a quick bath before heading home.
And always remember the number one rule of dog courtesy - bring plenty of poop bags, and be sure to clean up after your dog and dispose of them properly!