A veterinary practice has launched a Baywatch campaign to prevent dog owners having to send out SOS distress calls during the summer.
Westway Veterinary Group’s surgery in Claremont Road, Whitley Bay, is warning dog walkers of the dangers facing their pets while out walking and playing on the beach.
Seawater, seaweed, palm oil, jellyfish and dead crabs and sea birds washed up on the shore are among the hazards that can cause illness and injury, or even kill pets.
Westway vet Abbey Taylor expects to see a number of dogs brought into the Whitley Bay surgery with symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting after eating something they should not have done on the beach.
Jellyfish can be frequently found on the beach and a sting can cause discomfort, or in rare cases an anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of a jellyfish sting include blistering, burning pain, itching, nausea, excessive drooling, vomiting, swellings and hives.
The surgery has now launched Baywatch, a summer campaign to warn owners to be extra vigilant when taking their dog to the beach.
Abbey said: “While sun, sea and enjoying a day out at the beach is great for humans and fun for pets, there can be some dangers on the beach for dogs.
“Seaweed and washed up sea creatures are tempting to dogs, but can cause sickness and diarrhoea. Eating sand can cause a blockage in the gut.
“Seawater causes sickness in dogs due to its salt content and can contain bacteria and parasites.”
She added: “Salt drying on dog’s skin can cause irritation and severe itching. Owners should carry fresh water for their dogs to drink and to rinse their coats after swimming in the sea.
“Palm oil can be found on Whitley Bay beach and is harmless in its normal state, but it is dangerous to dogs when washed up as it is often contaminated with ship waste and diesel oil.”
“Always keep dogs in sight while they are swimming in the sea, and using dog life jackets can keep dogs afloat and safe from drowning. Owners should also refrain from throwing balls or toys into the sea when it is rough.”
If you suspect your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have while on the beach, Abbey advises that you contact a vet immediately.