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  • Kristen Renaud

Day Seven - 30 Days of Dr. Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol

Poor Kirby has beach diarrhea. As a result we did not train today. She gets a rest day.


I am, however, inspired to write a post about the best ways to avoid beach diarrhea. Note, that we normally adhere to these rules, but as always there are times when it is not effective.


Beach diarrhea occurs when dogs ingest salt water. Even small amounts, think a few sips, can impact your dog's digestive track. It happens, your dog gets thirsty and takes even a few laps of water before you notice, or can divert their attention from you.


Even a tennis ball soaked with salt water is enough to upset your dog's stomach. This is most likely what happened with Kirby.


So, we know to avoid playing fetch with a soggy ball. But how do we make sure our dogs do not drink the salt water?


One of the most effective ways is to keep your dog properly hydrated. Bring fresh cool water for your dog to drink. Offer this water to your dog every 10 - 15 minutes. Think about how often you drink while on the beach. Offer your dog just as many refreshing moments. Staying ahead of the thirst can really help.


If you do notice your dog drinking water you should recall your dog immediately. This means that you should have an excellent recall cued before allowing your dog off leash. Practice recall at home, in the park, on other walks, before you try it out on the ever distracting beach. Always reinforce the recall with treats, praise, and quite often letting your dog return to what you called them away from. This builds trust so when you do call you dog away from something such as the tempting ocean water, they are more likely to come to you.


That's all I have. Today's blog is short but sweet, hopefully like this episode of beach diarrhea.



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