Beach safety

Beach safety: taking care of your dog at the beach

There’s nothing like a trip to the seaside on a summer’s day, especially when your furry friend can come along and join in the fun!

Sadly, beaches can pose some threats to our dogs so it’s important for owners to remain vigilant. Let’s take a look at the main threats to watch out for, and how to keep your dog safe when they’re at the beach.

Make some preparations

Before jetting off to the land of sand, make sure your pet is ready for the beach… and that the beach is ready for them. Have you got poo-bags, water and toys at the ready? Can your dog swim? Do they even like water? Is the beach you plan to visit a pet-friendly one?

Dogs can often get overexcited at the beach. Bring toys and treats with you as a way of encouraging your dog to return to you, especially if they wander off too far or if there are other pets around.

Prevent jellyfish stings

Jellyfish stings are incredibly painful, so aim to do all you can to prevent your dog sustaining one. Research your chosen beach before you go there; if it’s known for jellyfish, consider going somewhere else. Keep an eye on the water at all times and don’t let your pet venture too far in.

If your dog is stung by a jellyfish, the seawater can do a great job of preventing the release of further toxins. Douse the sting as best you can and once satisfied, contact your vet as soon as you can to have the sting checked over.

Prevent wasp stings

A beach wouldn’t be a beach without fish and chips and sugary treats! Sadly, the vast amounts of food attracts wasps and this increases the chance of humans and pets being stung. Keep an eye on your dog as best you can, prevent them from sniffing around bins, discarded food or any area that is popular with wasps.

If your dog is stung by a wasp, keep a close eye on them. It’s a good idea to visit your vet to have the sting checked over – especially if the sting is around your dog’s mouth or face.

Watch out for sharp objects

Broken bottles or discarded sharp items aren’t so easy to spot when you’re at the beach so you’ll need to take extra care. Contact your vet right away if your dog’s foot pad does get cut.

Take care to avoid fish hooks too. These can easily get caught in your dog’s mouth or damage their digestive tract if swallowed. If you notice that your dog has swallowed a discarded fish hook, contact your nearest emergency care provider right away.

Don’t let your dog drink salt water…

Bring your dog’s bowl along with you, plus their own bottle of water, and make sure you offer it to them regularly. This will help to prevent your dog from getting too thirsty and drinking salt water!

Ingestion of too much salt water can have serious effects on your dog’s health, so keep your eye on them as often as you can to check they aren’t helping themselves to it.

…or eat discarded food

Lots of popular human treats are bad enough for dogs as it is, not to mention discarded treats that could well be mouldy and are most likely caked in sand! Once again, keep an eye out… both on your surroundings and on your dog, to make sure they don’t eat anything they shouldn’t.

Bring treats along with you! This will satisfy your dog’s taste buds as well as encourage them to return to you when you need them to.

Avoid heat exhaustion in dogs

The immense heat, along with lots of excitement and lack of shade can quickly lead to sunburn or heatstroke. To prevent this, make sure you give your dog lots of fresh water to drink and take regular shade brakes. If you plan to stop and sunbathe, make sure there’s a shaded area for your dog to cool off in.

Be aware that dogs can get sunburnt too, especially those with white/pale fur. Consider getting your dog some special pet-friendly sun cream.

11 summer pet care tips.

Need more info?

For more information on keeping your pet safe and comfortable at the beach, or any aspect of their welfare, have a chat with your vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.