California beaches are some of the best in the world, and many of us are excited to bring our French Bulldogs to the beach! Planning to hit the sand with your Frenchie for the first time? Here are the top 9 tips for taking your French Bulldog to the beach for maximum fun and safety.

1.       Choose a Frenchie-friendly beach

2.       Teach your Frenchie to swim

3.       Find fresh water and shade

4.       Steer clear of choppy water

5.       Watch what they drink

6.       Provide sun protection

7.       Look out for dangers in the sand

8.       Rinse their fur

9.       Pick up their poop

1. Taking your French Bulldog to the beach? Make sure that beach takes dogs!

First things first. Always check the local rules—they’re usually posted publicly—to make sure it’s okay to bring your Frenchie to the beach. Luckily, there should be a few within driving distance. From San Diego to Los Angeles, Frenchie-friendly beaches and swimming spots abound.

You can also soak up the sun at an off-leash dog park or dog beach. More and more Frenchie owners are discovering pet-friendly destinations to visit with their Frenchies. If your idea of a great outing or vacation includes racing along the shoreline with your canine bud, you certainly have options.

2. Teach your Frenchie to swim

Some dogs come ready to bring their A-game on the water; but Frenchies not so much. Don’t assume your Frenchie is an automatic swimmer so take it nice and easy. If it’s your Frenchie’s first time in the water, he/she may be tentative about diving right in. Consider easing into things and walking along the shoreline in shallow water.  

3. Find fresh water and shade

Any time you take your French Bulldog out in the sun for an extended period of time, it’s important to provide opportunities for shady naps and hydration. California beaches can be hard exercise, and blistering temps can lead to fatigue or dehydration. Pack plenty of water bottles and a drinking bowl for your Frenchie.

4. Steer clear of choppy water

Water that’s busy with large waves, boats, boards, or jet skis can scare your French Bulldog, so try to find an area with calm water. Even if your Frenchie is an adventurous and capable swimmer, rip tides and rough water can be dangerous.

If your Frenchie is a novice swimmer, keep him safe at the beach with a practical (and adorable) dog life vest. You’ll enjoy your beach day even more knowing your dog has that extra protection.

5. Watch what they drink

Mmm… salt. Many Frenchies love to drink salt water at the beach—but it’s not good for them. Do your best to limit drinking salt water and encourage hydrating with fresh water. Otherwise, you could be dealing with diarrhea and an upset tummy later on. A collapsible water dish is a great thing to pack. Don’t forget to bring plenty of fresh, cool water too!

6. Stay sun-protected

French Bulldogs can burn too, especially if they have light skin and fur or short hair. Just like humans, they’re also at risk for skin cancer.

Focus on the ears and nose, which are the most susceptible to sun damage. You can even purchase sunscreen made for pets. Or suit your Frenchie up in a sun shirt designed to protect him from harmful rays.

Plan ahead and take your French Bulldog to the beach during periods of less intense sun. Limit sun exposure during the brightest parts of the day (10 am-4 pm).

7. Keep a look out for dangerous items

Be aware that all sorts of items can be partially or fully hidden in the sand. Broken glass, rocks, hooks, coral, and garbage can pose a danger to your French Bulldog.

Another thing to look out for during your Frenchie’s beach day: hot sand. If you’re wearing sandals, you might not realize how scorching the sand actually is. Avoid paw burns or walk your dog along the edge of the water.

8. Rinse well

Whether you’ve been hanging out in salt or fresh water, be sure you rinse off your French Bulldog’s coat to rid them of any sand, salt, and beach germs before you head home. Not only will this protect your car from a major mess, but it also prevents skin irritation caused by the sand and salt. If your Frenchie’s skin is especially sensitive, these two offenders can cause serious itching.

A quick and simple rinse is all it takes to keep your furry friend fresh and odor-free.

9. Pick up that poop

Many Frenchie-friendly beaches provide “mutt mitts” at the entrance, although you should also bring your own. Frenchie poop is a problem for fish and wildlife, so be mindful of picking it up to avoid water and soil contamination. Stash some poop bags in your beach tote to clean up after your Frenchie.

If you’re looking to hit the waves and sand, there’s no need to leave your French Bulldog at home. With a small amount of preparation and a healthy dose of caution, you can both enjoy the best day ever at any California Beach.