Top Dangers At Perth Dog Beaches

Estimated Reading Time: 4 min | Last Updated: June 10th, 2022

Many Western Australians adore spending a day at the beach – soaking up the sun and splashing in the waves. Our playful pooches also enjoy playing in the water and digging in the sand, but did you know that there are several dangers at Perth dog beaches? We’ve compiled a list of the top beach dangers for dogs and how to avoid them.

What are the dangers at Perth dog beaches?

Here are our top five dangers at Perth dog beaches, as well as what you can do to keep your dog safe.

Salt water

Dog playing in water with toyOur dogs will drink almost anything, particularly when they are thirsty like Sea water. Salt water can pose a danger to our pooches. If they do drink a substantial amount, salt toxicity, also known as hypernatremia, may be induced. Salt toxicity occurs when there is too much sodium within their blood. It’s not just drinking the sea water that can cause your dog to ingest too much salt, but also from simply playing at the beach. Salt can be ingested from swallowing water while swimming or picking up toys that have been in the sea.

Excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, mental impairment, seizures, and coma are all symptoms of salt toxicity. To help keep your pet from drinking sea water, always have fresh water available so they don’t feel tempted to. It’s also a good idea, rather than letting the sea water to dry on their coat, rinse them off. This will prevent your dog from licking salt water off their fur and further ingesting more salt.

Sand

Sand is unavoidable; it gets everywhere! Eating sand while at the beach isn’t uncommon for dogs. While this is usually by accident, there are some dogs who may do it on purpose! Whether it’s from digging, playing with sand-covered toys, or eating something that’s fallen onto the sand, sand will be ingested. But if too much sand is ingested it can lead to sand impaction. This is when the sand causes a blockage in the intestines.

Dog covered in sandAfter a trip to the beach, if your dog is vomiting, appears to be constipated, has some abdominal discomfort, seems to have lost their appetite, or is lethargic it could mean they have ingested sand. Treatment for sand impaction involves fluid therapy or medication to assist in the movement of the sand down the intestines. Surgery might be required in extreme circumstances.

Sand ingestion is, usually, unintentional, making it difficult to avoid sand impaction. To help prevent your dog from eating too much sand, keep an eye on them while at the beach, and restrict access to sandpits. Teaching them the leave command especially when food items fall in the sand is a great idea also.

The heat

The beach may be a beautiful spot to spend a sunny day, but it also means it will at times be extremely hot. Combine high temperatures with limited shade and hot sand, and your pet’s risk of heat stroke rises considerably. Dogs can overheat quickly and they are also unable to tell us when they feel hot. To help your dog avoid heat stroke make sure they have enough shade and fresh water to keep them hydrated. It’s also a good idea to avoid the beach during the hottest parts of the day and limit any excessive exercise. See our Heat Stroke Guide for additional ideas on avoiding heat stroke, and recognising its signs and symptoms.

Our dogs can get sunburned, too. The most common places the sun’s rays will burn are on their noses, ears, and stomachs. Dogs with thin coats or white fur are more susceptible to sun damage than other breeds. To prevent sunburn, an umbrella or beach tent will provide shade. Pet sunscreen is great for those pooches who love time in the sun.

Beagle under a beach umbrella at one of the Perth dog beaches

Fish hooks

Close up of a fish hookIf you’re someone who walks their pet near a popular fishing spot, be aware of your dog being hooked. It’s a common accident we see in our hospital. A dog sniffs out and eats bait or a fish attached to a hook. The hook then lodges in their mouth, throat, stomach, or skin.

If your dog does ingest a fish hook, try to keep them calm and visit a veterinarian quickly. Should the hook be stuck in their paw, lip, or in any other place of their body, try to cover the wound. This will prevent your pet from being able to bite, lick, or tug on it avoiding further damage to the injury. If you see a fishing line hanging from their mouth, it’s best not to try to remove it and to avoid tugging on it as this might lead to more injuries if it has been swallowed.

Blowfish (also known as puffer fish and toad fish)

Blowfish, despite their seemingly innocuous appearance, actually contain tetrodotoxin in their skin and organs – one of the world’s deadliest natural poisons. If ingested, or even chewed or licked, it can be deadly to both people and pets. Blowfish, also known as puffer fish, poisoning is quite common. Our dogs, and cats, have easy access to this fish from the many dog-friendly beaches, to canals, and rivers, either when they wash up on the beach or are caught and discarded by fishermen. When your pooch is at the beach or in a river, it’s critical to keep an eye on them.

If you believe your dog has come into contact with a blowfish or is displaying any of the symptoms associated with poisoning, such as vomiting, trembling, drooling, breathing difficulties, weakness, or paralysis, see your veterinarian right away. Learn more about puffer fish poisoning in our blog, including what the symptoms are and what treatment involves.

 

While there are a number of dangers at Perth dog beaches to be aware of, taking your pooch to the beach is a wonderful way to spend quality time together. With so many dog-friendly beaches along the coast, why not choose one this weekend?

 

If your pet is ill or injured, visit Perth Vet Emergency or your local veterinarian immediately

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