How to keep your dog safe at the beach
There is nothing better than being by the sea – especially with our dogs. You should be aware of these dangers if you live by the sea or plan to take your dog to the beach.
It has been reported that some dogs eat sand at the beach. Nevertheless, most ingest it accidentally when digging or repeatedly picking up sandy balls or toys. When a dog swallows enough sand, it can cause sand impaction, which blocks the intestines. It is characterized by vomiting, dehydration, and abdominal pain. Veterinary treatment is necessary for this serious condition.
Taking a swim in the sea
Make no assumptions about your dog’s ability to swim. Dogs, too, must learn how to swim. There are breeds which have naturally powerful swimming skills, and then there are breeds such as corgis and pugs which do not. You shouldn’t put your dog in the sea if he is not used to swimming. Make sure he never goes out of his depth.
It is dangerous for dogs to eat dead fish that have washed up on beaches. Such fish may contain toxic substances. Sadly, a dog died on a Bournemouth beach after picking up and eating pieces of fish and starfish washed up on the shore.
Rolling waves and strong tides
Regardless of how strong your dog is at swimming, large rolling waves can still sweep them under. When the waves are high on windy days, keep your dog close to home and make sure he doesn’t get too far out into the water. Dogs can quickly become exhausted by waves and currents, so perhaps consider getting your dog a life vest.
Whenever you notice your dog drinking seawater, stop it immediately. They can get sick from salt, bacteria, and parasites in the water. Keep plenty of fresh water available throughout the day to prevent your dog from drinking salt water. By rinsing off your dog’s paws and skin before leaving the beach, you can prevent irritation.
Keep an eye out for discarded fishhooks on beaches where fishing is popular. Shiny lures and tasty bait are often extremely tempting to dogs. They can cause nasty injuries, however, if inserted into their mouths, food pipes, or stomachs. When dogs stand on fishhooks, they can suffer paw injuries.
A beach is always filled with temptations from other people’s picnics, discarded trash, beach toys, and shells. With so many tempting foods around, it’s important to keep your pet from eating anything they shouldn’t.
Animals love to explore, and that’s no secret. If there are likely to be jellyfish, you should keep a close eye on your dog. This troublesome sea creature, often spotted on the beach or in shallow water, can sting you very badly.
Sand is harder to run on than grass, which means you have to exert more effort. Heat stroke can be fatal if you overextend, especially under the summer sun.
Low tides and mudflats
Low tide exposes mudflats and small islands on some beaches. People and dogs should avoid these areas at low tide. Always check the tide times before you go to a beach with a high tidal range if you’re planning on swimming at low tide.
There is often palm oil washed up on the beach and when swallowed, it can result in vomiting and diarrhoea. There is a risk of dehydration and even pancreatitis.
In the peak of summer, even in the UK, temperatures can soar on beaches despite the cool coastal breeze.
Provide your dog with plenty of fresh water and a shady area, whether it’s under a parasol or a picnic table.
Taking a walk on hot sand
Sunlight can also make the sand dangerously hot in the UK. A dog’s paws will get too hot if it’s too hot for you to go barefoot. It’s best to take her to the beach very early in the morning or late in the evening on a day that’s forecast to be hot.
Sunburn can affect dogs just like it does humans. It is particularly important to watch out for breeds with short hair or white hair, and pink ears on hot days. You should avoid sunscreens that contain fragrances on your dog and use one made specifically for them.