Beach time with pooch can be fun when done right
Hawaiian Humane Society
Hawaiian Humane Society
Think restrictions make it tough to enjoy a dog-day afternoon at the beach? O'ahu actually has more than 100 dog-friendly stretches of sand — from Kailua to Makua — and they're compiled in a flier published by the Hawaiian Humane Society in 2004.
Of course, the dogs must be on a leash no more than eight feet long.
While some beach parks prohibit dogs, you and your pet can still pass through them to get to the beach, as long you take the most direct path.
The list also includes partial-access locations. That means dogs can play in the sand — as long as it is wet sand. For instance, dogs are allowed on the beach at Kailua Beach Park but only below the line of debris marking the high-tide line. The dry-sand area where picnickers and sunbathers relax is off-limits to dogs.
O'ahu's leash law applies to all public places. Dogs should be under the control of their owners at all times. To comply with Honolulu's litter law, dog waste must be picked up promptly and disposed of properly.
Just as with humans, dogs face hazards at the beach. Watch out for jellyfish, rip tides, fishhooks, dead fish, garbage and broken glass. Sharp lava rock can cut your dog's feet. Steer clear of boats and surfers.
Remember that dogs can get sunburned too, so limit sun exposure. During the midday hours, consider applying a zinc-free sunblock to your dog's ears and nose.
Some dogs gulp seawater while playing, which can make them sick. Bring along a bottle of water for you and your dog. Have plenty of old towels in the car because your pooch will be sandy and wet when playtime is over. Once home, rinse your dog's coat with water, or better yet, give him a bath and brush, then dry him thoroughly, checking for cleanliness and accidental trauma, especially on paws and ears.
Playing is good exercise for people and dogs. A bored dog might bark to get attention, dig or chew for entertainment. A pooch that is "dog tired" is contented and happy — plus the experience helps bond the pet and person.
Promoting the human-animal bond, the Hawaiian Humane Society encourages you to spend time at the beach with your dog for a happy, healthy dog-day afternoon.
Tag No. 87867 Looking for a big, handsome cat in shades of orange marmalade? Meet Oscar, a neutered, 4-year-old male. Wearing a classic Cheshire grin, he can be adopted and whisked away to his new home today.
Tag No. 87404 This handsome black Lab/shepherd/terrier mix has had some training. He enjoys the company of adults and older kids. At age 8, he qualifies for the Seniors for Seniors program. Trigger's adoption fee is waived for those age 60 or older.
These animals already may have found homes. The Hawaiian Humane Society and McInerny Dog Park at 2700 Wai'alae Ave. are open daily. For more information, see www.hawaiianhumane.org or call 946-2187.