Greyhounds don’t need hours of exercise but the opportunity to go outside and explore the sights (and scents) can be just as enticing for them as it is for all of us.
Whether you live in Sydney or within reach of the north or south coast of NSW, there are plenty of great beaches and waterways just ready and waiting to welcome you and your greyhound.
Although most of Sydney’s ocean beaches are not dog friendly, if you’re a city dweller you can still get your dog wet, sandy and totally pooped. Try the harbour beach of Sirius Cove in Mosman, or further north, Flora and Richie Roberts Reserve, where your greyhound can enjoy the sights, smells and experience water play in general. If you are game, Curl Curl lagoon is a perfect place where you can walk them in a little deeper and they can have a little swim (more on swimming with your greyhound later).
Head south of Sydney to explore the coastline from Bondi to Coogee (these are not ‘off leash’ beaches but we always recommend keeping your greyhound on a lead anyway) then on to Kurnell’s off-leash Silver Beach where your greyhound can splash in the shoreline’s ripples.
South is where you’ll also find Sydney’s only true dog-friendly ocean beach – Greenhills Beach north of Wanda Beach near Cronulla.
To find more dog friendly beaches or parks near you, visit dogculture.com.au/off-leash-parks-and-beaches-in-australia/
How much is too much fun?
If you love taking long runs along the beach and you want to take your greyhound with you, you’ll need to put your companion into training. Start with short runs and slowly increase the distance, remembering that greyhounds are born for sprinting not running marathons!
Heat exhaustion is common in dogs so it’s best to head out in the morning or the evening while the sun and sand aren’t too hot. Always take a water bottle and container with you and, if the sun is going to be strong, think about slapping on a gentle sunscreen that’s made for children – greyhounds are prone to sunburn.1
While you’re on the beach keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion. Your greyhound will self-cool by panting but if this isn’t enough, heat stroke can come on. The signs of heat stroke include heaving sides, heavy panting, vomiting and instability. If this happens, give your greyhound small amounts of water at a time, apply cold, wet towels or cloths and keep your friend walking slowly… taking them in a little deeper is an option if your dog enjoys the water. Don’t hesitate to call the vet in this situation – heat stroke can be dangerous.
Get your greyhound swimming
Greyhounds may not be natural swimmers but with a little encouragement from you and some good swim training, they might just learn to love the water. Walk in and encourage for your greyhound to come in with you then, as you get deeper, support your companion by cradling its chest with both hands. Never force your greyhound into the water – if he doesn’t want to go in, stick to exploring on dry land. As there is very little fat on your greyhound, it’s probably best to choose a time of the year when the sea is at its warmest, particularly for those initial experiences. Hopefully your four-legged friend will soon get the hang of paddling and if not… perhaps consider a life jacket!
Before you go…
If you’re travelling to the beach by car, don’t forget to restrain your greyhound for the journey. You don’t want to let them move around the car, distract you from driving or jump out the window – this is as important for your safety as it is for the safety of your best friend!
Sadly, the RSPCA tells us that about 5,000 dogs are injured or killed in Australia each year having fallen out of a vehicle. If that’s not enough to make you buckle your greyhound up, take note of this little known fact: if you’re caught by the NSW Police the penalties are three demerit points and a $425 fine (or more in a school zone).2 The RSPCA can also issue fines under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and if an animal is injured because it was unrestrained, you can face up to six months’ jail and fines of up to $5,500.2
So, slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, buckle up, hit the beach… and have fun!