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How to know the list of beaches allowed or forbidden to dogs?

The beach is a perfect playground for your dog. The environment lends itself as much to frantic running, as to letting off steam by digging holes in the sand, as to swimming and why not other nautical activities. But few beaches allow dogs. How do you find the list of those where your dog can romp without worry?

Find a list of dog-friendly beaches

Finding a list of dog-friendly beaches on the Internet is easy. However, you will have to cross-check the data collected because not all lists are necessarily up to date, especially since dog access to beaches may be limited by municipal by-laws, either temporarily or permanently.

In addition, what is posted as a dog-friendly beach may only be accessible at certain times, depending on the tide, or at certain times of the year. Some cities restrict access to portions of the beach. Finally, access to the beach may be conditional on the dog being kept on a leash and limited to the sandy area, without the possibility of swimming.

If you don't have Internet access or if you want to make sure that you comply with the law, the safest thing to do is to call the Tourist Office, the Town Hall or the Municipal Police of the place where you want to go.

Why are the beaches closed to dogs?

Many dog owners are negligent and do not pick up after their dogs. In addition to the inconvenience caused to beach-goers, the quality of the bathing water could be at stake, with closures of the bathing area as a result, dealing a major blow to the image of the municipality concerned. Elected officials are therefore not taking any risks and it is simpler and less costly to ban dogs from the beaches.

Moreover, depending on your dog's education, it may be difficult for him to adopt a calm behavior in front of all the solicitations such as balls, children running, birds, etc., and he may bother your neighbors by his agitation and repeated barking.

The banning of dogs is often resented by local residents and these decisions are discussed on the basis of the argument that dogs are not the only ones to dirty the beaches. In any case, if you do not respect the ban on animals on the beach, you risk a fine of 11 euros. But above all, bring bags to pick up your dog's excrement because in case of non collection of excrement, the fine can reach several hundred euros.

Ensure the safety of your dog

Even if dogs are allowed on the beach, it is your responsibility to ensure their safety.

This starts with making sure your dog can swim and is comfortable in the water. All dogs are instinctively good swimmers, but some body types are better suited to swimming than others. For some breeds, swimming is difficult and therefore quickly tiring. A specially designed life jacket or flotation device will provide comfort and safety for your pet during extended play time in the water, especially if there are waves or currents, or if you want to take your dog canoeing or paddling. Keep in mind that you should never force your dog to go into the water, because if he is shocked or panicked, he may drown.

In case of hot weather and prolonged stay at the beach, you must be able to provide shade and coolness at all times to avoid heat stroke.

The ingestion of a large quantity of salt can disrupt his intestinal transit and cause diarrhea and / or vomiting. It is essential to forbid your female dog to drink sea water. To do so, he must have a bowl of fresh water so that he can quench his thirst at will. Do not let him eat shellfish either, as he will swallow the shells and will not know the difference between a fresh and a decomposing shellfish.

If jellyfish are present, it is best that the dog does not swim. All dogs do not react in the same way to stings, so if your dog is stung (by contact while swimming or by trying to ingest a stranded jellyfish), his stay on the beach will be shortened because you will have to take him to the veterinarian without delay. Sea urchins also represent a significant danger because stings will easily stick in his pads, also implying a quick visit to the vet because the wound can quickly become infected and create an abscess.

After the beach, it is mandatory to rinse your dog thoroughly with clean water. Sea water dries and irritates your dog's skin (as well as yours). Pay special attention to rinsing the eyes and ears where grains of sand have lodged. A complementary cleaning of the eyes with physiological serum will avoid conjunctivitis and the drying of the ears will avoid an otitis.