Spending time with your dog at the beach over summer can be highly rewarding and a lot of fun for all. However, there are some hidden dangers you must be careful of when heading to your favourite sunny spot.
If your dog is prone to scavenging be on the watch for puffer fish which commonly wash up on our shores. They cause an ascending paralysis resulting in your dog becoming wobbly on its legs, vomiting, and collapsing with the final result being an inability to breathe. Emergency Veterinary treatment is required in these cases. These signs are quite similar to a snake bite and snakes may also be found on the beach in the warmer parts of the day so be on the look out for our venomous reptiles.
Keep a watchful eye on your dog in the water as occasionally they can run into trouble with near drownings and poisonous creatures, such as stingrays. They can shoot a poisonous barb into the pet if accidentally trodden on. This causes a very painful and nasty wound requiring treatment or surgery.
Taking dogs to the beach in the cooler times of the day will also help avoid heatstroke, especially for our dogs with short snouts, such as bulldogs and pugs who may have trouble breathing. Dogs do not sweat like humans and rely on there respiratory system to keep cool.
Interactions with other dogs are common on the beach, so ensure your dog is well socialised and trained if you let it off the lead. Dog fights are not uncommon, another potential danger at the beach or park.
Keep an eye out for old fishing line and gear, as pulling fish hooks out of lips and tongues is no laughing matter and usually requires sedation or anaesthesia.
Some of our beaches are closed to dogs during the summer months, so it is important to find out which beaches are open to dogs during this time of year.
So keep safe, and enjoy the beach with your dog.