MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — It’s after Labor Day, which means dogs are now permitted at all times on Myrtle Beach beaches, but city officials and vets warn of possible beach dangers to pets.
In the City of Myrtle Beach, dogs are not permitted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 1 through Labor Day. From the day after Labor Day through April 30, dogs are allowed on the beaches in Myrtle Beach at any time.
“When it comes to taking your dog to the beach you have a lot of different things to worry about, whether it be temperature, interactions with other dogs, swimming in the waves and riptides could definitely be a big issue if your dog is out in the ocean as well as potentially eating too much sand,” Dr. Isabelle Ying with Myrtle Beach Animal Hospital said.
City of Myrtle Beach Public Information Officer Mark Kruea said the dog restriction was instituted in the 1980s.
“We realized as Myrtle Beach got busy, we realized people like to take their dogs to the beach but the dogs and the people may not always get along,” Kruea said.
Kruea added, “not all dog owners are responsible, not all dogs are friendly, not all people are comfortable with being around dogs, so we tried to make sure the people could enjoy the beach and the dogs would have their time too.”
Kruea said a reason for the rule is to ensure the safety of dogs as well during the hot summer months.
“After 5 o’clock if you had your pet on the beach the chances of the pet’s paws being burnt on the hot sand were very real, so do keep that in mind, keep your pets comfort in mind,” Kruea said.
“If it’s too hot for us to stand on it comfortably, definitely too hot for our pets,” Dr. Ying said. “If you feel like you have to wear shoes on the beach and the sand is too hot, then do not bring your pets out.”
Dr. Ying added that heatstroke is something pet owners should be aware of when taking their dogs to the beach.
“If you feel like your dog has become lethargic, they’re panting excessively, they start to froth on the sides of their mouth, those are all initial signs of potentially going into heatstroke,” Dr. Ying said.
If you spot the heatstroke signs, Dr. Ying said to get the dog in the shade, cool off their paws, put ice packs under the armpits and groin area, and get them to a vet as soon as possible.
To avoid heatstroke, Dr. Ying said to bring water for your pets and don’t let them drink the saltwater.
When the dogs are in the ocean, Dr. Ying said to watch them at all times.
“We also had a couple of drowning cases this year so it’s really important that you keep a really close vigilant eye on your pets,” Ying said.
Kruea said even though the tourist season is coming to an end and dogs are allowed on the beaches at all times to still be aware of them.
“The beach will still be busy for the next couple of months, our weather in the fall is usually great so you can swim in September and October usually, so be advised if you are on the beach, you still need to have that dog on the leash to make sure you are in control of your pet,” Kruea said.
Kruea also reminded people to pick up after their pets.
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