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Removing Sand from Your Dog’s Coat After a Day at the Beach

Picture of a dog at the beach

Is there anything more fun than spending a day at the beach with your best canine pal? Whether your pooch is a land lover or prefers practicing the doggy paddle in the lake or ocean, most dogs love taking a trip to the beach with their families. Unfortunately, if you happen to be the proud owner of a dog that thinks it’s grand fun to roll around in the sand, you’re going to be taking a lot of the beach home with you…both in your dog’s coat and in your car. If you don’t want to be vacuuming for days to get rid of every last grain of sand in your home and vehicle, you’ll need to put some precautions in place to prevent excess sand from getting in your dog’s coat. However, no matter how hard you try, Fido will still end up with sand trapped in his paw pads, coat, and on his skin, necessitating some cleaning to get rid of it all. What is the best way to remove sand from your dog’s coat after a day at the beach?

Preventing Excess Sand from Getting in Your Dog’s Coat

If you’re going to take your dog to the beach, you must resign yourself to the fact that you will be bringing some of the beach home with you in your dog’s coat. As with most problems involving messes, an ounce of prevention can help keep dirt to a minimum.

Here are several things you can do to keep excess sand out of your dog’s coat and your car after a day spent at the beach: 

Keep your dog’s coat short
If you plan to spend a lot of time having fun at the beach each summer, it might be a good idea to keep your dog’s coat a shorter length during this time of year. Short hair does not as easily trap dirt, meaning less of it travels home with you and your dog.

Brush your dog’s coat before visiting the beach
Keeping your dog’s coat brushed and free from mats or knots is an excellent way to prevent buildup from sand or other beach debris. Dog hair that is unkempt is an easy harboring place for sand to hide and can lead to greater difficulty removing it from your dog’s coat and your vehicle later on.

Brushing should only be done when the coat hair is dry as attempting to comb through wet hair can cause it to tangle or break. It is recommended that you brush your dog prior to his day of fun in the sun at the beach since a knot-free coat is less likely to trap excess dirt. 

Do a final rinse in the water before heading for the car
Once you have finished up at the beach for the day, it’s a good idea to have your dog do a final dip in the lake to remove as much excess sand from his body as possible. Though sand is easier to remove from dry hair, the weight of the water in the coat will help wash away some of the added debris. 

Towel dry well
After your dog’s final swim of the day, it is wise to towel dry your dog very well to remove any sand that may be sticking to the coat. Rub the coat vigorously with a plush towel. This will help to promote quick drying and will also loosen up any debris sitting deeper in the coat, allowing for more easy removal. 

Use a crate to transport your dog home
Making use of a crate that is strategically placed in your vehicle can help keep sand to one central location, making it easier for you to clean. Dogs who have sand in their coats will often shake themselves to help dry their coats and remove dirt and debris. Since sand against the skin can be quite itchy, your dog may also scratch his body to shake it loose.

By using a crate, any sand that falls or becomes loose on the ride home remains inside the dog’s crate. When you arrive at home, you can take Fido out of his crate and remove the bedding contained within. Shake the bedding while outside, so the sand stays outdoors instead of ending up in your house or washing machine.

Removing the Sand that Gets Trapped in the Hair
Even with best precautions in the world, there is no avoiding the fact that your dog will still have some sand for you to remove when at home. There are several things you can do to safely remove the sand from your dog’s coat. However, it is important to note that rarely is all of the sand removed in simply one attempt. Even with very thorough bathing, towel or blow drying, combing, and brushing, some grains of sand will still remain in the coat, meaning several attempts may be necessary over a period of days to help restore Fido to his former sand-free state.

Here are our top tips for removing sand from your dog’s coat:

Make use of the hose
Keeping sand outdoors is the best way to avoid excess dirt and debris in your home. When you arrive home after your day at the beach, take the time to hose as much excess sand out of your dog’s coat as possible. Though this will not eliminate all of the dirt, it will provide you with an excellent start.

Be sure to towel dry your dog very well after spraying him thoroughly with the hose. This step will also help to loosen up any sand remaining in the hair, making it easier to remove.

Give Fido a bath with a mild shampoo
Using a mild dog shampoo, lather Fido up, taking care to gently maneuver your fingers right down to the skin. This will help unearth any sand that has attached itself to the hair follicle or skin cells.

Take care to thoroughly rinse your dog to remove all sand and soap; both of which can irritate the skin if not properly removed. Follow Fido’s bath by towel drying him to help the coat dry.

Brush your dog
Once you have hosed down your dog outdoors then bathed and dried him, it is time to brush his coat again. Sand is most easily removed from a dry coat. The bath and drying time should have eliminated the vast majority of the dirt; however, brushing your dog with a pin or slicker brush will help pinpoint any stubborn sand particles refusing to come free.

Repeat as necessary
Unfortunately, rarely is all sand removed from Fido’s fur in one attempt. This means you many need to do a second bath followed by another brushing of the dry hair to say goodbye to the grains of sand once and for all. 

What is the easiest way to remove sand from a dog’s coat after a day at the beach? A little bit of preventative medicine will greatly reduce the amount of sand that needs to be cleaned from Fido’s fur. However, the best course of action includes good old-fashioned soap and water, a high-quality brush, and some elbow grease. Yes, sand can be a nuisance, but the time spent having fun with your best canine pal at the beach makes it all worthwhile. Take your pooch to enjoy some fun in the sun today!

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