Long days and warm nights mean there’s no better time than summer to exercise your dog at the beach. While beaches are a great place for your buddy to play, PETstock is reminding owners to be wary of the hidden dangers this season.
While dogs love a day on the beach, it’s important that pet owners keep a close eye for any potential risks that could spoil a great day out. Things to look out for include jellyfish, snakes, ticks, things that can be swallowed and signs of heat stroke.
Beach safety tips from Dr Hay Chung (Vet)
- Be prepared – take plenty of water, a bowl, towels, sunscreen, (for you and your buddy) and poo bags.
- Keep an eye on your buddy – make sure they are always within eyesight (and earshot) so you can catch them before they touch something they shouldn’t.
- Jellyfish stings can cause local pain and swelling, but poisonous jellyfish stings can cause swelling of the head and face, wobbliness, hives, drooling and anaphylactic reactions. If you notice these signs, you should take your dog to a vet immediately.
- Always be on the lookout for snakes, which like to sunbathe on warm days, particularly on warm rocks. An inquisitive dog may get bitten, so keep an eye on your buddy and monitor them for signs of a snake bite – lethargy, wobbliness, drooling and vomiting.
- The paralysis tick is found along the eastern coast from Cooktown in Queensland to Lakes Entrance in Victoria. As the name suggests, this tick causes paralysis starting from the hind legs, then spreading to the front legs. If you are travelling to these coastal areas in spring/summer, it is recommended that you use appropriate tick protection.
- Many dogs are inclined to chew or swallow things like bait or fish hooks, because they smell fishy. In some cases, this can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. In more severe cases, the object may need to be surgically removed.
- Heat stroke is another risk on warm days, particularly with energetic dogs. Heat stroke happens when the dog’s body temperature gets too high. This is caused by a combination of hot weather, high-energy activities such as running, and sometimes dehydration. To reduce the risk of heat stroke, avoid visiting the beach in the hottest part of the day – mornings or late afternoons are best.
- Like us, pets are susceptible to skin cancer so make sure to keep your buddy protected with canine sunscreen – this is particularly important for dogs with exposed skin, pink noses or short hair.
- Monitor them back home – be aware of any odd behaviour, your buddy could be dehydrated or feeling unwell. Contact your closest vet immediately if you are concerned.
About Dr Hay Chung
Dr Chung joined PETstock in August 2018 following several years of clinical experience in Australia and New Zealand. She says the best part of being a veterinarian is being an advocate for the human animal bond and witnessing its impact on society as a whole. She is a proud pet-mum of a cheeky boy ‘Eiji’ and a proud little girl ‘Yang-pa’.