One of the best perks of being a dog owner in San Diego is our beautiful dog-friendly beaches. From Coronado to Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island to Del Mar, dogs sure do have it good here in San Diego! And the weather cooperates all year long. Even when the rest of the country is cooling down, we’re still up for a trip to the beach! The one downside of letting your pup play in the water is the mess you risk taking home with you – sand, saltwater, and all kinds of smells. If you want to enjoy fun in the sun with your four-legged friend, but need some advice on how to keep them (and your car, and your home) clean, here are some tips:
• Don’t over-bathe! If you’re using quality products, including a good conditioner, you can usually get away with a full bath once per week. Any more than that could irritate or dry out your dog’s skin/coat. If you’re making daily trips to the beach, go with a rinse-off approach most days instead of a full bath.
• Look around for do-it-yourself dog washes near your favorite beach spot – Ocean Beach Dog Wash (located on Voltaire St. just up the road from OB Dog Beach) offers waist-high tubs and products you can use to rinse off or bathe your pet before even getting to your car. These places are a great low-cost way to clean your pet off before heading home.
• Dry thoroughly! Use a towel to soak up as much of the water as you can after a swim or a bath. Some dogs are sensitive to being left damp, and some coats can matt up when wet, so dry as best you can.
• Remember to brush! Giving your dog a good brush out and comb-through after any trip to the beach will help remove some of the sand, and also prevents matting on long-hair dogs. [Tip: If your pet is known to get tangles, you should comb them out thoroughly any time they get wet – damp fur can easily knot up as it dries]
• If you need a quick clean-up, baking soda can be used to clean and deodorize – just rub some baking soda into your dog’s fur (avoid the eyes), then brush it out. You’ll be brushing away odors, oils, and other gunk with it.
Of course sometimes it’s just easier to call in a professional groomer – thorough baths and blow-dries, as well as haircuts for some dogs, can go a long way toward keeping your pet clean, happy, and healthy. We hope you get to enjoy San Diego with your dogs as much as we do. See you on the beach!