AS THE weather warms up again and we are allowed to travel further afield I know many are considering a beach trip with their dogs. However, it is important to be aware of the hazards your dog can come across in order to keep them safe.
The most obvious hazard is sand. Dogs will ingest sand at the beach while they dig or play with toys.
I have seen many dogs with intestinal pain as sand passes through their systems. Please keep an eye
and try to limit the amount they eat.
If they eat too much it can make them very ill and can even block their guts entirely. If your dog seems to be showing signs of stomach pain, is lethargic, vomiting or off their food after a trip to the beach please phone your vet as soon as possible. It is also a good idea to look up a vet clinic near the beach you are visiting.
Your dog may also come across many objects at the beach which are tempting for them to eat. For instance, discarded toys, food, and washed up objects including seaweed and sea life. These can also cause gut inflammation and blockages as well as salt poisoning.
Salt poisoning can make your dog very sick so please make sure not to let your dogs drink the sea water and to wash off their fur with fresh water if they have been playing in the sea.
If your dog likes to play in the sea, please be mindful of large waves and rip currents and remember that even good swimmers can easily tire in the sea. If they are new to swimming, make sure they stay in the shallows with you and do not go out of their depth. You can also buy life jackets for dogs.
The main thing to remember is to be vigilant and not leave your dog unattended. Most hazards can be avoiding by keeping an eye on your dog.
Also please do not play ball with them on stony areas of the beach as they can very easily cut their pads open on a sharp stone or shell.
Finally make sure they do not overdo it and overheat. Provide plenty of water, a shady spot and some relaxation time to your beach day.
Claire Turner is a Veterinary Surgeon at St. Vincents Veterinary Surgery, a family-owned practice providing personal care for all your pets in and around Wokingham. For more information visit www.stvincentsvets.co.uk or call 0118 979 3200.