This summer, Maui and Cali (toy poodles) are going with me to the Outerbanks of NC. Taking dogs to the beach will be a first for me (and they have never been there either). I am already looking forward to it but have much to read about how exactly this will work and what things I need to watch out for. So, does anyone who has taken their dog on vacation before have any helpful tips or suggestions?Everything I read warns against several things, two of the biggest being heat and feet. I was wondering how best to protect the dogs' feet and pads while walking on the rough sand, gravel, etc. The articles mostly mention just being careful where to take them and to check the feet often but I was wondering if this is going to be enough. And, I am trying to find a way to protect against hot sand (I don't want them to burn).

Could they wear boots of some kind or is that totally unnecessary? As for the heat, I am concerned about how long they can be out (I will have an umbrella for shade)? Or if there skin could get sun burned (they will have short haircuts for the summer)? If I should get them cooling bandanas or something like that? I have a few good resources but I still have some questions.
I am also a bit concerned about the car ride (its about 12 or so hours). We will have to stop often for breaks (for the dogs and the people) but other than that, I am not sure how to make the trip as best as can be. Will I need to entertain the dogs? If so, any suggestions? Will they sleep most of the way (hopefully, we will travel through the night and they will sleep but I am not sure yet when we plan to travel)? The dogs will either be crated or in dog seats. I plan to ask the vet what I could do about car sickness and any other problems I should run into (Just in case, I have the name, number, location of the Animal ER clinic nearest to where we are staying).
So, basically, I am reading a lot but figured some first hand experience could really benefit me this time around. Any help, as always, is very much appreciated.
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Everything I read warns against several things, two of the biggest being heat and feet.

On the Outer Banks, besides heat you will need to worry a great deal about fleas and ticks. And mosquitoes. You'll need to check your dogs every day for ticks. (My dogs haven't ever gotten one there but DH has!) Most of the populated areas there are sprayed at least once a week for mosquitoes. But it's still a concern.
And that sand gets hot. I don't think you can even consider taking the dogs out on the beach in the middle of the day. And if they get into the salt water you'll want to make sure you get them rinsed off as soon as you can. And you'll also want to get the sand out of their coats as soon as you get back to the house.
As for the heat, I am concerned about how long they can be out (I will have an umbrella for ... get them cooling bandanas or something like that? I have a few good resources but I still have some questions.

If I were there in the middle of the summer (BTDT - May and September are much nicer - and cheaper), there is no way my dogs would be anywhere but inside in the cool house in the middle of the day. Yes they can get sunburned. Cooling bandanas and cooling mats might stretch out the amount of time they could be out on the beach - under the umbrella - but you'll want to be able to get them back in the air conditioning quickly if they are showing any signs of stress.
I am also a bit concerned about the car ride (its about 12 or so hours).

If your dogs ride well on trips of half an hour or more around home, they'll likely be fine on a longer trip. Mine sleep almost all the time. When they start to get antsy, it's usually because they need to stop. And by the end of a second day of travelling, they're reaching their limits. And for all the sleeping they do in the car, they are still tired when we get where we're going.
Be careful at rest stops about where you walk them. Many people are not very good about cleaning up after their dogs or themselves. I keep an eye out for things they shouldn't be sticking their noses into.

And if you leave them in the rental house or motel room while you go out, make sure they're crated. No matter how well they behave at home, it's not worth risking the next person being told they aren't allowed to bring their dogs because the last ones did some damage.
You'll want to check also for ant and roach motels on the floors. One of my dogs just loves to crunch them so when we go someplace new I always have to clear the corners of things like that.
Where are you staying? On the upper banks, down on Hatteras Island or further south?
~~Judy
This summer, Maui and Cali (toy poodles) are going with me to theOuterbanks of NC. Taking dogs to the beach ... get them cooling bandanas or something like that? I have a few good resources but I still have some questions.

one possible option you mentioned for their feet is the little doggie boots they make.. i know most of them are intended for snow and ice, but i honestly don't see why they wouldn't work just as well for the sand.. you'd probablly want to use ones that aren't as heavily insulated, so their feet don't get really hot in them..
i haven't tried this, (as I live in Alaska and beaches arne't that much of an option.) but see no reason why it wouldn't work..

otherwise.. just make sure the dogs have plenty of toys, food, attention and water and they should be fine
This summer, Maui and Cali (toy poodles) are going with me to theOuterbanks of NC. Taking dogs to the beach ... but figured some first hand experience could really benefit me this time around. Any help, as always, is verymuch appreciated.

The beach is such fun! Atty always makes friends! Last year she met "Alice" - who could have been her twin, except that she was twice Atty's size! We have a place in Myrtle Beach, a 12 hour drive. We also go upstate NY (Chateaugay Lake) with family every summer, which is a 10 hour drive.

When possible, we drive through the night - leaving around 11 pm - we stop when we need a break, Atty is used to sleeping all night and is a great traveler, although we do let her get out and walk a bit. Even during the day, she sleeps in the car - it's almost like a turkey dinner syndrome. If she's not sightseeing, she's sleeping... the first couple times, we brough chew toys... for her it was a waste of time. She rides in the back seat with her harness on, connected to the tether point for the child seats on the top of the back of the seat. She spends most of the time curled up on our pillows.
Things we've found useful for the traveling:
make sure you bring water from home for in the car (when you stop), we have a collapsable water dish. In fact, Atty has her own travel bag - whenever she sees it she knows she is going somewhere great.

Don't forget food, any meds and disposable pooper scoopers for the drive - don't leave them packed where you have to empty out the trunk to get them. I prepackage food in ziplock baggies for travel meals, then I just grab a bag and put it in her bowl... no measuring, no muss, no fuss.

Daytime travel might warrant one of those baby shades for the back window. We make the trips so often that we know where the rest stops are and where good doggy places to stop are.
We have a couple of rules for the ocean -
Check what time you are going to be there - our beach has posted hours that dogs aren't allowed. It changes depending on the time of the year. From May 15 to September 15, dogs are allowed on the beach only before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. Between September 15 and May 15, dogs are allowed on the beach at any time of day. We aren't there in the summer, so it doesn't matter to us. Myrtle in the summer is just too HOT and crowded. We go on the off season and rent our place in the summer. We've only had a dog there once in the summer.
Not sure what beach you're headed to, but here is a site that might help, plus local vets and kennels :
http://www.outerbanks.org/visitor services/beach information/pets on the beach.asp

no dog swimming at dawn or dusk at the ocean - don't want to make it easy on the sharks! - and stay away from the piers - they fish off the end and when they chum, that brings the sharks in.
keep an eye on the tides and riptides - adjust swimming accordingly. She loves to jump the waves, but I sure don't want her getting out and not being able to get back in.. We love to walk the beach at night, she loves to chase the laser light on the beach at night.. but if you don't have good recall, don't risk going off leash!
we usually hose her off at the beach shower at our condo - to get the salt and sand off her, and then wipe her down with towels when we get back home.

When we are in NY, it's a private beach, so there are no rules. We're also close to the house, so the dogs can roam back and forth. She does tend to run quite fast over the hot sand... but we've never done more than hurry to the shore to put our feet in the water. Heck, yours are toys, right? so you could carry them. Atty's 60 lbs of lab - no carrying! When we're at the lake, she usually digs a hole behind my chair into the cool sand, of course, that often results in my chair tipping over! We've never dealt with sun screen or booties.
Hope this helps.. We're headed to the beach in April - and I can see Atty salivating already!
Sue and Atty
Be careful at rest stops about where you walk them. Many people are not very good about cleaning up after ... loves to crunch them so when we go someplace new I always haveto clear the corners of things like that.

Good points, Judy. - we always crate in the hotel rooms if we need to stay in one - don't want some maid opening the door and letting a dog out. We also leave our cell phone number at the front desk, in case they need to get in touch with us.
One more thought - since we're on the topic of hotel rooms... we also take our own bedspread. Atty sleeps on the bed and so we put our spread down so the hotel bed doesn't get "doggy" for the next people.

We also take her mat (bascially a crate pad - but since she's not crated at home anymore, it's turned into her portable bed) so that she has a place that is hers in the hotel - and we can tell her to go lay down on her "place"
Sue and Atty
one more thought -
we have travel id's - they're cheap to make at any pet store. They hang on a hook by the door all year, just waiting for the week I attach the appropriate one to the collar. They have local vacation phone numbers and our cell phone number.. if for some reason, she got lost, calling a phone
12 hours away where nobody was going to be home for a week wouldn't do muchgood. The one for the lake has the camp phone number and the one for the beach has our condo complex name, our local condo phone, and our cell number. The HOA also has a photo of all resident dogs on file.

Sue and Atty
This is a good point. When I traveled with the carnival I had ID's made for my dog and cat that had my sister & my mothers number on them along with the name of the carnival. This way if something happened and the dog or cat was lost there would be someone on the other end of the phone who knew exactly where we were. Also if we were still in town the person finding the dog knew to come to the carnival grounds to return him.

We never had occasion to use them but it was reassuring to know if they were lost that we had the bases covered.
The tag read - If found come to xx Carnival if we aren't in town call xxx-xx to get me back home.
Celeste
Everything I read warns against several things, two of the biggest being heat and feet.

On the Outer Banks, besides heat you will need to worry a great deal about fleas and ticks.

I will remember that so I use Frontline right before we leave.
And mosquitoes. You'll need to check your dogs every day for ticks. (My dogs haven't ever gotten one there but DH has!) Most of the populated areas there are sprayed at least once a week for mosquitoes. But it's still a concern.

is there a such thing as bug spray for dogs?
And that sand gets hot. I don't think you can even consider taking the dogs out on the beach in the middle of the day.

yeah, I don't even go out at that time (I like the evening and night best).
And if they get into the salt water you'll want to make sure you get them rinsed off as soon as you can. And you'll also want to get the sand out of their coats as soon as you get back to the house.

ok, thanks!
As for the heat, I am concerned about how long ... a few good resources but I still have some questions.

If I were there in the middle of the summer (BTDT - May and September are much nicer - and ... to be able to get them back in the air conditioning quickly if they are showing any signs of stress.

ok, sounds good.
I am also a bit concerned about the car ride (its about 12 or so hours).

If your dogs ride well on trips of half an hour or more around home, they'll likely be fine on ... And for all the sleeping they do in the car, they are still tired when we get where we're going.

thanks for the warning
Be careful at rest stops about where you walk them. Many people are not very good about cleaning up after ... to crunch them so when we go someplace new I always have to clear the corners of things like that.

thanks for all the great input, I appreciate it!
Where are you staying? On the upper banks, down on Hatteras Island or further south?

the Nags Head area
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