On holiday with your pet: Dangers to watch out for if you go to the beach with your dog

Photo: Vadym Drobot / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

If you have decided to spend your summer vacation by the sea, where you will be accompanied by your pawed friends, be aware of the potential dangers that can cause serious injuries to your dogs, says "Vets Now".

Sand impaction

Believe it or not, some dogs eat sand on the beach. But most pets accidentally ingest sand while digging or playing with a ball or toy. If a dog ingests a certain amount of sand, it can cause a blockage in the intestines, commonly known as sand impaction. Signs of this serious condition, which requires immediate veterinary treatment, are vomiting, dehydration and abdominal pain.

Swimming in the sea

Don't assume your dog can swim. It is a skill that must be learned. Some breeds are naturally strong swimmers, but dog breeds like corgis and pugs are simply not born for this activity. If your dog isn't used to swimming, the sea is not the place to start, so make sure he doesn't go in the deep end.

Dead fish

Don't let your dog eat dead fish from the beach. Certain types of fish contain dangerous toxins that can seriously harm a dog. We believe some pet owners are familiar with the case of the North Norfolk dog who died after eating pieces of dead fish on the seashore.

Strong waves

Even if your dog is a good swimmer, there is a risk of being swept away by a large wave. Be careful on windy days as the waves are strong and don't let the dog go too far. Waves and currents can tire him, so it would be a good idea to buy a life jacket for dogs.

Salt water poisoning

If you notice that your dog is trying to drink sea water – stop it! Salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can harm it. To prevent the dog from drinking salt water, bring enough clean, fresh water to the beach to offer the dog frequently. You can also prevent skin and paw irritation from salt by rinsing with fresh water.

Photo: Pexels/Damian Barczak

Injuries with hooks

If they are on a beach that is popular with anglers, watch out for discarded fishing lines. These metal wires can cause serious injuries in the dog's mouth, or the dog may swallow them and create an even bigger problem. Additionally, dogs can suffer paw injuries if they step on a thrown hook.

Unknown objects

On the beach there are always temptations in the form of discarded garbage, toys and shells. Keep a close eye on your dog and prevent him from eating anything that looks like food. Also, be careful not to injure them with sharp-edged objects, such as broken beach toys.


Dogs are very curious animals and love to explore, so they may come across jellyfish. These sea creatures often lurk in shallow water or get stranded on shore. Many types are harmless, but there are some that can cause very unpleasant injuries.

Effort in the sun

Keep in mind that running on sand requires much more effort than running on grass. Too much physical activity, especially in the summer sun, can quickly lead to heatstroke, so be careful.

Palm oil

Palm oil often appears on beaches. If the dog licks it off, the oil can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea and lead to dehydration.

Photo: Pexels / Anna Tarazevich

Is seaweed good for dogs?

Seaweed is valued as a source of vitamins and minerals. However, dried seaweed that accumulates on the beach can be dangerous for dogs. If the dog eats them, they can swell in the stomach and get stuck in the intestines. If a dog swallows a large amount of dry seaweed on the beach, contact his veterinarian immediately.

Dangerous temperatures

Don't be fooled by the fresh breeze blowing on the beach, because it does not lower the air temperature. Whether your dog is under an umbrella or on a walk, provide him with a shaded area and plenty of fresh water to avoid heatstroke.

Walking on hot sand

The sun can heat the sand to dangerous temperatures. If it's too hot for you to walk barefoot on the sand, it's too hot for your dog's paws. If you plan to visit the beach with your dog, do it in the early morning or late afternoon.


Just like people, dogs can get sunburned. Breeds with short/white fur and pink ears should be especially careful on hot days. Use a sunscreen made specifically for dogs and avoid exposing them to sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

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