Dog friendly beaches
Is there anything more to love than to swim with your furry friend and cool off while having a nice swim?
Swimming is a good way to cool off your dog. It is, however, not smart to let your dog swim wherever he wants to.
Dog friendly beaches
First off, dogs are not allowed to swim everywhere. It is important to inform where your dog is allowed to swim in advance. There are various areas where your dog can run loose that include a lake or beach where you and your dog are welcome.
Unfortunately, only a small portion of all beaches allow dogs all year round. However, most beaches welcome dog owners outside the summer months, which is between the 1st of October through the 30th of April.
A complete list of dog-friendly beaches can be found online: thebeachguide.co.uk.
An overview of enclosed dog walking fields where you can let your dog walk off the leash can be found at Dog Walking Fields. This directory shows as many as 300 private hire and public enclosed areas where your dog has enough space to play and run around.
Bathing water quality
Besides knowing where dogs are allowed to swim and run off the leash, it also important to monitor the quality of the water. Unfortunately, every year dogs die of blue-green algae and botulism. Swimming in warm and stagnant water are primary risk factors. Besides the aforementioned, Weil’s disease is also still dangerous to dogs.
With high temperatures during summer, the water temperature can quickly rise. This gives bacteria and algae the chance to quickly multiply themselves.
Blue-green algae are bacteria that look like seaweed. They give an oily and form an oily and often smelly layer on the water. These blue-green algae can produce a dangerous neurotoxin that can be fatal within a few hours. The first symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle weakness, tremors and epileptiform attacks. Important to know is that there is no antidote! Symptomatic treatment is the only thing your vet can do to help your dog.
Besides blue-green algae, botulism is caused by bacteria that produce a neurotoxin. Waterfowl and fish can easily become infected and die. The carcasses can infect the water, which is a risk for all animals that swim in the water from then on. Symptoms often only occur after a few days: vomiting, diarrhoea and characteristic paralysis symptoms. Just like with blue-green algae, there is no antidote for botulism. Animals that are infected can only be treated symptomatically.
Weil’s disease is an infection that dogs can get from contact with water that is contaminated by rat urine. Fortunately, dogs can be vaccinated against Weil’s disease. This vaccinations has to be repeated annually. Vaccinated dogs can still get the disease, but get less serious symptoms and have a better chance to survive.
Avoid areas with stagnant water as much as possible.
Fortunately, there are websites that keep track of safe swimming areas. To find out more, please visit the following the following websites:
An overview of all the bathing waters in the United Kingdom can be found below:
- Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/bathing-water-quality
- Scotland: http://apps.sepa.org.uk/bathingwaters/Locations.aspx
- Wales: http://environment.data.gov.uk/wales/bathing-waters/profiles/
- England: http://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/
Safe swim location
Besides looking at the water quality, you should be aware of other factors that can affect the safety for your dog. For example, can your dog get out of the water by itself? Is there a strong current? Is there a lot of rubbish on the bottom that may harm your dog?
Does your dog enjoy swimming and is he good at it? Then we definitely recommend to let your dog swim during summer and hot weather. However, make sure you are well prepared!
Always make sure there is safe drink water
Make sure that you always carry along enough and safe drinking water which your dog can drink. This prevents your dog from drinking sea water or polluted stagnant water.
Nowadays, there are plenty of handy tools which you can use to provide your dog with enough drinking water. Just browse our website and have a look at our cooling off category, which includes products such as a dog cooling mat or a cool coats for dogs.