Dogs swimming in the ocean
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Thread: Dogs swimming in the ocean

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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Okay-sorry if this is a dumb question-but I've never been to the ocean, much less taking my dogs swimming in it. So how safe is it? We are moving to Fort Rucker AL in 2 months-and we will only be about 2.5 hours away from the ocean. I know thousands of people live by the ocean and take their dogs-but is there anything I should be prepared for, or look out for?

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    sorry if this is a dumb question
    People in Wisconsin are incapable of asking a dumb question.

    I had an Irish setter in Santa Barbara and we lived a block from a very dog-tolerant beach. She swim nearly every day and accompanied me on open-water outings with the SCUBA classes I taught.

    The salt-water tended to dry her coat, so I rinsed her with the hose after each swim. Otherwise there were no particular problems.

    Well, she did get "bumped" by a sea lion protecting her pups and I was afraid there was a shark out there but, otherwise, it was great.

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    The oil spill in the gulf has been big news, but ordinarily the ocean is safe. High surf conditions can be dangerous. Stinging jellyfish are pretty common, but I can't say I've heard of a dog being stung. Lots of people, though.
    If I have to give my dog treats for obeying commands, then the terrorists have won.

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Just be careful to rinse them out really well, if the salt sits on them too long it can cause skin infections. But a dip every couple of weeks, followed with a wash, shouldn't be too bad
    If your dreams turn to dust...vacuum, move on, dream again!

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    Senior Member winniec777's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Lived in Santa Barbara also and took our dog to the beach 3-4 times a week. It was dog heaven - there were 4 beaches within a 15-20 mile stretch that allowed dogs.

    It's perfectly fine. You just have to watch out for the stuff that washes up on the beach, mostly. We kept her away from the dead sea birds that would sometimes be on the beach and we kept her away from the slough since it contained run-off from town (pesticides, contaminants, etc.). We watched the beach reports and kept her away from it for a few days after it rained and if there was a warning issued (water at the beaches is tested).

    Afterward we rinsed her off to get the saltwater off. Most dogs try to drink the salt water and stop immediately because they don't like the taste. But there are dogs that like it. Just need to watch out for it.

    And watch out for discarded barbq bones! I can't tell you how many times I had to pry cooked chicken or rib bones out of Poca's mouth. Grrrrrr.

    So I always worried more about what was on the beach itself vs. anything she might encounter in the ocean. You'll need to find out what your beach is like and plan accordingly (e.g. is it known for rip tides, jelly fish, etc.).

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean


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    Senior Member Namrah's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Beware of dehydration, lots of *fresh* water. Also if you take her on a boat use a lifejacket, a dog overboard can be pretty hard to spot and that could save her life.
    Last edited by Namrah; 06-11-2010 at 08:11 PM.

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    Senior Member EarthMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    On a lot of beaches in Northern California there are rip tides, undercurrents, and the sleeper waves that are very dangerous for people. These waves are probably dangerous for most dogs too.

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    First thing you will need to do is make sure that the beach you are going to allows dogs. Fines here are pretty hefty! We only have one small dog beach within a hundred miles of us an I live on the ocean. Fortunately it is right down the road from our house, but the east coast is pretty picky about letting dogs on the beach.

    Once you find one, I would just recommend lettin the dog play in the shallow water, to were you can snatch him up if something arises. The undercurrent and rip tides are no joke!

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Watch out for the Under Toad.

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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by amdeblaey View Post
    Okay-sorry if this is a dumb question-but I've never been to the ocean, much less taking my dogs swimming in it. So how safe is it? We are moving to Fort Rucker AL in 2 months-and we will only be about 2.5 hours away from the ocean. I know thousands of people live by the ocean and take their dogs-but is there anything I should be prepared for, or look out for?

    Most dogs like to swim in saltwater. You might want to have him swim with a long line on if he does not have a good recall. So he does not get too far out and either tire or get caught in a current.

    That being said, with the state of things in the Gulf right now, you are probably not going to be doing any swimming on the Alabama coast this year.

    I don't know where you are moving from. But you need to be VERY careful about allowing a dog to swim in natural bodies of freshwater in Alabama. Especially in the lower two thirds of the state. Alligators love dogs.
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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by KaseyT View Post
    Watch out for the Under Toad.
    The toad who is not in charge? An amphibian having a bad day?



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    Senior Member Poly's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    If you intend to have your dog off-leash -assuming it is legal - you will still have to acclimate them to that just as you would at a fresh water location. A long-line was mentioned and that is a good intermediate step.

    Dogs that like the water already will take to ocean waves and salt water just fine. Dogs that are already ambivalent about going into the water won't suddenly develop a love for it because they are at the shore. But take your dog there anyway. Many dogs love to run along the beach even if they don't go into the water very much.

    Don't be obsessive about the salt in their coat. I know of many, many dogs that work and/or play for hours in salty water without any issues. If needed, you can clean your dog off when it is convenient just as you would after any water activity - but you don't need to make a production out of it.

    Although I've heard of salt water toxicity, I've never actually seen it. It would take a very uncaring owner who was not paying any attention to their dog.

    All the people that I know who do any activities with their dogs - including me - make sure that their dogs drink enough water commensurate with the activity. If the place we are at doesn't provide a source of good water - and this can be a park, a lake, a river, a bay, at the shore, or anyplace else - we carry in a supply with us. Often we carry drinking water regardless. Just common sense.

    Finally, if you have your doubts about the condition of the water- say, pollution - just stay away. If the water quality is so poor that you wouldn't want to go in it, don't send your dog into it.
    Last edited by Poly; 06-12-2010 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by Poly View Post
    Finally, if you have your doubts about the condition of the water- say, pollution - just stay away. If the water quality is so poor that you wouldn't want to go in it, don't send your dog into it.
    NO NO NO you have that all wrong.
    According to the Mississippi governor the toxic tar balls polluting the water are not all that bad. It may kill a small animal if it happens to get covered in oil. You just don't want to bathe in it.
    Swim away all is clear

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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by amdeblaey View Post
    Okay-sorry if this is a dumb question-but I've never been to the ocean, much less taking my dogs swimming in it. So how safe is it? We are moving to Fort Rucker AL in 2 months-and we will only be about 2.5 hours away from the ocean. I know thousands of people live by the ocean and take their dogs-but is there anything I should be prepared for, or look out for?

    On the Gulf coast you need to be aware of the Bull Sharks, which have been known to come into fresh water and attack Alligators attacks are pretty rare, and with the spill I wouldn't go into the water for a while anyhow. Rip-currents (undertow) can also be a problem there, especially if there's a storm offshore (Tropical in nature or not) if you're at the beach, listen to the weather reports and watch for any rip current watches or warnings on the local stations.
    Carla
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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Holy cow-wasn't getting emails that people responded, so sorry. We will be in the southern central part of Alabama-Fort Rucker, which is by Enterprise. If there is a body of water around there that is good for swimming-let me know. We probably wouldn't go to the ocean that ofter because my husband is going through a pretty intense flight school. We've just never been to the ocean with the dogs (and I've only been to the ocean once in the Bahama's) so I thought it would be a good experience. My dogs drink a lot of the lake water-so that was my main concern-that they would drink a lot of the ocean water too. I will be prepared to bring a long lead though-they swim without leashes now, but I don't have to worry about an under toe or anything. I will also bring a bunch of fresh water if we go.

    Is anyone familiar with Conecuh National forest? We love to go camping with the dogs-so if my husband gets a break, we'd love to go here. Just not sure if it's dog friendly.

    Thanks for all the responses.

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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Please read Redyre's link about salt water toxicity. If a dog ingests salt water (and some act like it is gravy and drink it) it can lead to real serious issues as the body tries to even up the salinity on both sides of the cell walls (cells in the body).

    I had a dog get pretty bad runs as a result of drinking salt water (water in the cells was mobilized to the intestines to dilute the salt and make everything in the body the same salinity).

    Just beware!

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    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    Please read Redyre's link about salt water toxicity. If a dog ingests salt water (and some act like it is gravy and drink it) it can lead to real serious issues as the body tries to even up the salinity on both sides of the cell walls (cells in the body).

    I had a dog get pretty bad runs as a result of drinking salt water (water in the cells was mobilized to the intestines to dilute the salt and make everything in the body the same salinity).

    Just beware!
    Yes I did read it-that's why I said I was concerned about them drinking the water, because they drink a lot of lake water right now-I mean they don't just sit there and drink, they just ingest a lot of water fetching their toys.

    Does anyone know of a better place in southern Alabama, or the Florida pan handle even.

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    Senior Member JohnnyBandit's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by amdeblaey View Post
    Holy cow-wasn't getting emails that people responded, so sorry. We will be in the southern central part of Alabama-Fort Rucker, which is by Enterprise. If there is a body of water around there that is good for swimming-let me know. We probably wouldn't go to the ocean that ofter because my husband is going through a pretty intense flight school. We've just never been to the ocean with the dogs (and I've only been to the ocean once in the Bahama's) so I thought it would be a good experience. My dogs drink a lot of the lake water-so that was my main concern-that they would drink a lot of the ocean water too. I will be prepared to bring a long lead though-they swim without leashes now, but I don't have to worry about an under toe or anything. I will also bring a bunch of fresh water if we go.

    Is anyone familiar with Conecuh National forest? We love to go camping with the dogs-so if my husband gets a break, we'd love to go here. Just not sure if it's dog friendly.

    Thanks for all the responses.
    In the Fort Rucker area you are still going to be in very strong Alligator country. Be very very wary about letting your dogs around any fresh water in this area.
    Dog VooDoo Crappola

  21. #20
    Senior Member amdeblaey's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs swimming in the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyBandit View Post
    In the Fort Rucker area you are still going to be in very strong Alligator country. Be very very wary about letting your dogs around any fresh water in this area.
    Good to know, thank you very much!!

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