Friday, February 4, 2011

Grab Fido and Head to the Beach!

Dogs love trips to the beach. It has it all -- wide open spaces for running and playing, water to

swim in, sticks to chew and fetch, and fascinating smells to discover. As a dog owner, the

beach comes with special challenges and rewards. You'll experience the great joy of walking on

the sand with your dog, watching your puppy get tuckered out by a day of playing and

swimming. But you'll also need to find a beach that's dog friendly and make sure that you and

your pup follow certain important rules of etiquette.

Dog Beaches

Not every beach allows dogs, especially near and in big cities. Some beaches allow dogs but

require that they be on a leash during their visit. While most beaches in the U.S. and Canada do

not allow dogs, there are hundreds of dog-friendly beaches on each coast. The key is to do your

research before you go and find a place where your furry friend will be welcomed.

On the West Coast, you'll find a number of dog-friendly beaches. In California, head to Kings

Beach in Lake Tahoe, Long Beach in the Long Beach area, Pacific Grove in Monterey, and

Laguna Beach or Corona Del Mar in Orange County. San Diego has four dog beaches

(Coronado, Imperial Beach, La Jolla, Ocean Beach), and the Bay Area has Half Moon Bay,

Pacifica beach, and Pescadero beach. Oregon has dog-friendly beaches in Cannon Beach, Coos

Bay, Depoe Bay, Newport, Rockaway Beach, Yachats, and many other seaside towns. In

Washington state, visit Bainbridge Island, Blaine, Everett, Federal Way, Ocean Shores, Edmonds,

Port Angeles, and the beaches of the San Juan Islands.

The East Coast offers dog beaches up and down the seaboard. In Florida, head to Amelia

Island's Fernandina Beach, Dog Island, Fort Myers, Key West, Pensacola, Miami, Naples, and the

three dog beaches of Tampa Bay (Dunedin, St. Petersburg, and Tampa). The Carolinas offer dog

beaches at Cape Fear, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, Charleston (four beaches), Edisto Beach,

Myrtle Beach (Murrells Inlet), and on Hilton Head Island.

Further north, you can visit Brooklyn beach, Long Island's Montauk beach, Cape May Point,

Manasquan, and Newport. Southern Rhode Island has four dog beaches (Charlestown,

Narragansett, South Kingston, and Westerly), and Cape Cod offers eleven, including Barnstable,

Chatham, Sandwich, Truro, and Wellfleet. In the Boston area, check out Manchester beach.

There are also two dog beaches on Marthas Vineyard. Maine offers beaches at Bar Harbor,

Kennebunkport, and South Portland.

Etiquette at the Beach

If you're headed to a beach that allows leashed dogs, be sure to follow the rules. Keep your dog

on a leash at all times. When people disregard leash laws, local municipalities are more likely to

close the beach to dogs altogether, ruining the fun for everyone.

If your beach allows off-leash dogs, be sure your dog will respond to your verbal commands. In

other words, your pup must be able to come when you call it, even if it's engaged with another

dog or investigating a great-smelling bit of beach debris.

Bring poop bags with you and be vigilant about cleaning up after your dog. No one enjoys a

poopy beach! This is another reason why beaches are often closed to dogs. Do your part to

keep your beach dog-friendly by being a responsible dog owner. Many beaches impose fines on

people who don't clean up after their dogs.In general, keep your dog from being a pest. Don't let it

race up to small children who might be afraid. Don't let your dog shake itself dry next to

sunbathers and picnickers. Keep your dog from visiting other beach-goers, especially if they're

eating. And if you can, visit the beach with your dog in the early morning and evening, when the

beach is less crowded. By taking a few precautions and keeping courtesy in mind, you and your

dog can have a fabulous time at the beach and be welcomed by everyone. Once you find a

great dog beach, you'll want to do your best to keep in dog friendly, so you can your pup can

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Poison to Your Pup - Human Food That's Bad for Dogs

It's hard to resist a wagging tail and a pair of big, brown, begging eyes. And while certain human

foods are palatable for dogs, it's important to know which are not, because unfortunately, the

bad ones can severely harm and even kill your dog. The following list of bad foods and their

dangers may seem dire, but if you familiarize yourself with these harmful human foods, you'll be

better equipped to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Enemy #1: poultry bones. Bones and dogs go hand-in-hand, so it can be easy to forget that only

the bones from hoofed animals are right for dogs. Poultry bones - everything from chicken thighs

to turkey drumsticks - splinter and can puncture your dog's gastrointestinal tract. These bones

are dangerous to dogs of all sizes, and the decline and death that results can take several days.

Instead of giving your dog bones from the table, buy specially marked dog bones at the store.

Enemy #2: chocolate. The general rule of thumb with chocolate is that the darker it is, the more

dangerous it is. You also need to take into account the size of your dog and the amount of

chocolate eaten. A small dog who eats a bar of baking chocolate (very dark chocolate) may be

in serious trouble, call your veterinarian immediately in this case. On the other hand, if your 100-

pound dog eats one milk-chocolate candy, it will probably be fine.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that's toxic to dogs. Combined with chocolate's

caffeine, which speeds up the heart rate, this human delicacy can lead to vomiting, diarrhea,

hyperactivity, seizures, and coma. Also, because dogs process chocolate more slowly than

humans, your pup may seem fine after eating the bar, but could still become very ill over the

course of the next twenty-four hours. Cocoa powder is also very dangerous. Milk chocolate and

white chocolate, which contain less cacao, are less dangerous.

Enemy #3: onions. For you, onions are foods that spice up nearly any dish, but for your dog,

they're deadly. Onion poisoning develops symptoms slowly. It can be caused by one large dose

of onions or a small amount eaten steadily over the course of several days. All onions are

dangerous -- fresh onions, dried onions, cooked onions, and even onions on pizza.

Onions (and garlic, to a lesser extent) contain a toxin that causes haemolytic anaemia, in which

the dog's red blood cells burst while they're circulating through its body. Initial symptoms include

vomiting and diarrhea, followed by lethargy, dark urine, and trouble breathing. The full affect of

the poisoning won't be felt until a few days after the dog consumes the onions. Again, both the

size of the dog and the amount of onion eaten are important factors.

Enemy #4: fatty foods. A neighbor hosted a wedding at his home recently and was puzzled to

find that his dog was weak and restless afterward. The veterinarian diagnosed pancreatitis

caused by wedding guests giving the dog fatty treats. This dog had to spend a night in the animal

hospital, receiving fluids to help her inflamed pancreas. Pancreatitis ñ and its sister condition

gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach, can be caused by fatty foods of all types,

whether they come from the table or from a garbage can. Both often require hospitalization.

Enemy #5: macadamia nuts. We think of them as tasty Hawaiian treats, but these nuts contain a

toxic substance that causes paralysis, tremors, swollen limbs, and horrible joint pain.

Other dangerous human foods:

Raisins and grapes - can cause severe diarrhea and acute kidney failure.

Bread Dough (with yeast) the yeast continues to "rise" or expand within the dog's belly. This can

be fatal in both dogs and cats.

Moldy Food - this can cause an array of nasty reactions including seizures, coma, and death.

Even in very small amounts, it easily causes diarrhea, which isn't pleasant for anyone.Looking

for more information and other great articles about camping with pets? Visit

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