Dog days of summer: Clothing options abound for beach-bound hound

By: SUE MANNING The Associated Press
June 6, 2013 Updated: June 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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photo - This image provided by PetSmart shows a dog in Tommy Bahama beach wear.  Tommy Bahama Pets will be in PetSmart Inc. stores through August. There's a designer shirt and a dress with a ruffled skirt made with Bahama's traditional hibiscus fabric. There are other shirts with palm trees and fish and chips, an Aloha Tee, hats and toys in the shape of thongs. (AP Photo/PetsMart)
This image provided by PetSmart shows a dog in Tommy Bahama beach wear. Tommy Bahama Pets will be in PetSmart Inc. stores through August. There's a designer shirt and a dress with a ruffled skirt made with Bahama's traditional hibiscus fabric. There are other shirts with palm trees and fish and chips, an Aloha Tee, hats and toys in the shape of thongs. (AP Photo/PetsMart) 

Here's a rule that only applies to dog beaches: They are all clothing optional.

So if you're one of the rare owners that dress up your dog, designers have options for your beach-bound hound.

From bikinis to surf trunks, clothing makers have found a niche to sell garb for the pampered pooch that has almost everything.

Tommy Bahama Pets offers a Hawaiian shirt and a dress with a ruffled skirt made with the brand's traditional hibiscus fabric. Designer John Bartlett makes a canine beach tank top. And Martha Stewart Inc. produces a practical life jacket to give surfing and boating dogs a boost in the water.

In addition to floral bikinis and colorful swim trunks, pet retailers sell wet suits, visors, sunglasses and Doggles (think: goggles for dogs).

While the fashions might be fun they aren't very practical, said Dr. Brittany King of Banfield Pet Hospital in Houston.

"I'm a big swimmer and so is my dog, Hank," she said. "While he has his fair share of doggie-friendly swim trunks, they are simply meant for fashion - not function."

Practical beachgoers should do their dog a favor and put sunscreen on furless areas, bring fresh water, treats, a towel and an umbrella for shade. And don't forget your own swimsuit.

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Colorado 'Swimming holes'

Dress your dog in a pair of swim trunks and check out these parks with water features:

- Union Reservoir Dog Beach, Longmont - The designated area is leash-free and allows access to the 736-acre reservoir. So your pooch can swim and splash to its heart's content. tinyurl.com/cmfnrdf

- Durango Dog Park - This leash-free, 5-acre space is near the Animas River, where you can play in the water or watch rafters while you stretch your legs after a long drive. tinyurl.com/FunDurangoDog

- Bear Creek Dog Park, Colorado Springs - Improvements to the 25-acre, leash-free park include a couple of "swimming holes" thanks to county erosion prevention and widening on a half-mile stretch of Bear Creek. tinyurl.com/czxdumx

Joe Paisley, The Gazette

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