15 Beach Hazards Every Dog Owner Must Avoid!

Heading to the beach with your dog can be a fantastic day out, but UK shores come with their own set of risks. Being aware of these hazards can ensure both you and your furry friend enjoy a safe, fun-filled day by the sea.

1. Tides and Currents

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Check the tide times before you visit. Beaches like Blackpool can quickly become dangerous with fast incoming tides that can cut off areas of the beach, potentially trapping your dog. In 2020, a dog was rescued by the RNLI after being stranded by the rising tide at Morecambe Bay.

2. Hidden Rocks and Debris

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Sandy beaches can hide sharp rocks or debris. At Brighton Beach, dogs have been injured by discarded items buried in the sand. Always keep a close watch on where your dog digs or plays. 

3. Harmful Algae

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During warm periods, algae blooms can occur, releasing toxins harmful to dogs if ingested. Beaches like Camber Sands have experienced such issues. Prevent your dog from drinking or swimming in suspicious-looking water. There was a reported case in 2019 where a dog fell ill after swimming in algae-infested water at Lake Windermere.

4. Overheating and Sunburn

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Dogs can easily overheat or get sunburned on a sunny day, especially breeds with short coats. Use pet-safe sunscreen and provide plenty of shade and water. 

5. Jellyfish

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Beached jellyfish, even dead, can still sting. Areas around Cornwall and Wales often see jellyfish wash-ups. Keep your pet away from these creatures to avoid painful injuries. In 2021, several dogs were treated for jellyfish stings at Polzeath Beach.

6. Sharp Shells and Barnacles

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Shell fragments and barnacles can cut a dog’s paws. Places like Shell Beach in Dorset are notorious for sharp shells. Consider dog booties if your beach day involves exploring rocky areas. 

7. Cliff Falls

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Many UK beaches are flanked by cliffs that can be unstable. There have been instances at Eastbourne where pets and owners got too close to the edge, resulting in falls. In 2020, a dog had to be rescued by the RNLI after falling from a cliff at Beachy Head.

8. Strong Winds

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Strong winds can carry sand and harmful debris that can hurt your dog’s eyes and face. Beaches like those in Norfolk experience gusty days where extra care is needed. 

9. Seaweed

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While it might look like a fun toy, seaweed can cause blockages if ingested in large amounts. Monitor your dog closely to ensure they don’t eat what they find on the beach..

10. Salt Water

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Drinking too much salt water is dangerous for dogs, leading to salt poisoning. Always bring fresh water and ensure your dog drinks it regularly throughout the day. Dogs are regularly treated for saltwater poisoning after a day at the beach.

11. Sea Creatures

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Curious dogs can disturb sea creatures, which may bite or sting in defence. Teach your dog to avoid disturbances in their natural habitat. Crab bites can be nasty! 

12. Crowded Areas

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Popular beaches like those in Brighton can get very crowded, increasing the risk of your dog getting lost or overwhelmed. Use a leash and keep your dog close. A dog went missing for hours after being spooked by the crowds at Bournemouth Beach in 2022.

13. RNLI Warnings

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Heed any warnings issued by the RNLI, who often have flags and signs to indicate dangerous swimming conditions or other hazards at beaches like Newquay. In 2021, the RNLI rescued a dog from rough seas after it ignored warnings and ventured into dangerous waters at Scarborough Beach.

14. Water Sports

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Water sports can be exciting but pose risks to dogs. Fast-moving boats and jet skis can be hazardous. Keep a safe distance from water sports areas to avoid accidents.

15. Dogs Following Kids into the Water

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Dogs often follow their family members, especially children, into the water without understanding the risks. A tragic incident in 2020 saw a dog drown after following a child too far into the water at Bournemouth Beach. Always supervise both your children and pets closely.

Don’t Let Your Guard Down!

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A day at the beach with your dog should be enjoyable, not stressful. By being prepared and mindful of these hazards, you can ensure that your outing is both fun and safe. Remember, the sea is unpredictable and respect for its power helps protect you and your beloved pet.

The post 15 Beach Hazards Every Dog Owner Must Avoid! first appeared on PawShore.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.