With more and more people traveling with their dogs, it only makes sense to bring them to Alabama Gulf Coast beaches when vacationing here.

While there are leash laws, and the cities of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key do not allow dogs to be on beaches, there are beaches in Fort Morgan that welcome dogs and dog parks that pups simply love.

To help your dog have a safe and fun beach vacation experience, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the changes in their surroundings.

One way to keep some measure of consistency is to bring your dog’s brand of food, plenty of water and any medications. It might also be helpful to bring their favorite dog bed along for the ride for use in your dog-friendly beach vacation rental.

Not all dogs swim. Yet, if you will be taking them to the Gulf on Fort Morgan’s dog-friendly beaches or visiting the Dog Pond at Gulf State Park, consider bringing a life vest specially made for dogs. Look for one that fastens at three points and has a handle on the back in case you need to lift your dog out of the water. In addition, make sure you only allow your dog to swim in calm, shallow water. And, be aware of objects in the water with a potential to injure your pup, i.e., rocks, shells, coral and jellyfish.

Avoid allowing your dog to drink saltwater or brackish water, even though they are likely going to be inclined to do so. If they do get a bellyful of salty water, be sure to avoid dehydration by offering plenty of fresh water around. There are numerous collapsible dog bowls on the market that will help you keep fresh water on hand.

Dogs naturally have fur to protect them for them from the sun, but they can experience sunburn. Avoid sunburn by using sunscreen specially made for dogs. You can find dog sunscreen at pet stores or on Amazon in brands like Burt’s Bees, Petkin and Epi-Pet. Apply it to exposed areas, including noses.

Also, if you’re going to be out in the sunshine for a while, be sure to give your dog a spot to retreat from the sun, a foldable dog sun shelter, for example. Guardian Gear Sun Shelters shade pets from excessive sun, heat and moisture. It can be set up in minutes on the beach or in yards.

When walking with your dog on the dog-friendly beaches of Fort Morgan, be sure to offer plenty of opportunities for rest. Just as with humans, it can be strenuous for dogs to walk in sand. Start slowly, give your dog time to warm up and allow him to rest afterwards.

As soon as possible or once you return to your Gulf Shores dog-friendly vacation rental, be sure to rinse your dog after he’s been in the sand and water. Dry their ears to avoid ear infections.

Choose a dog-friendly vacation rental when vacation on the Alabama/Northwest Florida Gulf Coast.