\\\ Dog Safety
Featuring dog walking around the UK
Beautiful walks along coastal routes and sandy beaches
Our British coastline according to Ordnance Survey has more than 11,000 miles to visit meaning there’s a lot to see whilst dog walking on beaches around Britain!
The recent high profile case of US singer Lady Gaga’s two French Bulldogs being stolen reported by the BBC News USA gears up for a much larger reminder this year, and during Pet Theft Awareness Week, @pettheftaware, (held in March), informs us all of the significant growing problems of pet theft, not just in the US but also in the UK which can occur anywhere, anytime, including beach areas.
According to the PDSA, the majority of pet theft, 52%, happens while your pet is in their garden.
It’s always good to double-check and refresh with reminders about safety and theft when visiting new and different areas with your pet including the UK beaches.
Our coastal beaches are generally a pleasure to walk, however, during the high season, the summer months, particularly when sunny, these areas become more packed with visitors and dogs may need to be on leads or are banned from certain areas.
Before you even travel to your coastal location, you must ensure your dog is wearing their collar and ID tag when you set foot outside your home, a requirement in UK law and always ensure your dog’s microchip details are kept up to date with your provider.
If travelling on holiday, don’t be caught out, make sure you have a spare dog ID tag available to hand in case your pet loses theirs whilst busy sniffing around excitedly exploring new places.
You may be considering investing in dog GPS tracking services which can be highly beneficial to keep track of your pet within 1-2 metres of their location when wearing their special tracker.
This is particularly useful if you’re not at home to know exactly where your dog is during your absence and if you employ a dog walker, where you’re dog has been. Likewise, if you travel abroad and leave your pet at home, that you’re pet sitter is acting responsibly.
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\\\ Beach Safety Rules
Before leaving for your beach walk
Check the tide times available from The Met Office and brush up on water skills with a quick reminder of the RNLI water safety advice page. Both are invaluable. If it’s high tide, in some coastal locations, then a coastal cliff walk or dune walk may be more appropriate.
If there are some local reviews about the beach on social media, have a read of these as they will have useful nuggets of information for the new visitor.
Ask a friend to come with you if on a special day out which you can both enjoy and always helps additionally with the security of dog walking in a new location.
Get equipped with plenty of freshwaters for a thirsty dog and bowl and take some dog towels to have ready for cleaning off the sand before coming home.
A dog first aid kit is always handy to have in the car for emergencies.
In hot weather, dogs can become dehydrated very quickly, so be prepared with plenty of water available for them and best to avoid taking your dog for a walk at the height of the day at noon.
You may be happier muzzling your dog in busier beach areas and take a short and long lead with you.
Your mobile is essential, particularly if you use GPS tracking services for your dog. Some beaches may have no or poor reception, especially where they are located at sea level or below, so do check constantly that the beach has good signals. You may only have to move 3 metres or so in another direction for the signals to be ‘live’ again.
At the beach
- New surroundings are a wonderful haven for dogs and owners and this is from the minute you both step out of your car right along sandy walks, dunes, cliffs and beaches. Try not to get distracted by the new scenery too much and keep your eyes on your dog at all times.
- Most UK beaches will have signs up informing you whether there are any dangers to look out for and if dogs must be restrained or banned. Busier beaches operate a warning of sea conditions red flag system so take heed of the daily information and any local lifeguard advice.
- Your dog may try to wander off sniffing the ground frantically – we’ve all watched it! – as they smell new interesting scents including local wildlife that may be nesting close by and on sand dunes. They need to be restrained and moved quickly away from these areas.
- You may be frantically whistling and unusually they don’t respond, bolting off and this becomes a problem. It’s important to keep your dog in view, even though you may now be jogging or running frantically to catch up with them. As soon as you do, pop them on a long line and walk to another area.
- If the tide is going out it may have left rubbish on the upper shore. Your dog will want to scavenge but try to avoid them from doing this as there can be broken glass, other sharp objects that cut their paws and plastics they could try and eat that’s been left behind by the high tide. They may disappear behind a rock nursing a bleeding paw.
- If the tide is on it’s way out, sandy beaches may be very soft underfoot. These beaches are good to visit when the tide is fully out as the sand has had time to dry.
- If your pet stops at rock pools and starts drinking, try and pull them away as the water will be salty and not necessarily healthy for them. It may mean you need to soon return to your vehicle, or seaside staycation home, so they can catch up drinking some fresh water.
- Remember to take all rubbish off the beach with you including dogs poo and dispose of in the local bins provided in the beach car park or take it home with you.
- When back home, it’s generally best to give your dog a good clean or even rinse to remove all salt and sand that accumulates especially long-haired breeds.
- If you’re away on a staycation or weekend break, ensure you have your insurance details with you as you never know when you may need them particularly in any pet emergency requiring local vet services. Some savvy owners always carry a recent picture of their pet too.
- In most coastal areas vets are accessible by car being just 5-10 miles away, however remote, off-road regions can be up to 50 miles.
Never leave your dog unattended in your car.
Before you travel you may like to use our useful checklists, guides, and tips.
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Prices and information correct at time of writing.
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