Beware of heatstroke if you’re taking your dog to the beach this summer

National pet charity Blue Cross is warning owners to be aware of heatstroke if taking their dogs to the beach this summer.

With the weather set to heat up from today, the charity has put together some top tips on visiting dog-friendly beaches and urged owners to avoid taking their pets during the hottest parts of the day and spending the whole day at the beach.

Signs of heatstroke – which include excessive panting, dribbling and collapse, can come on suddenly and can prove fatal for your pet if not quickly treated. Short nosed dogs such as French bulldogs and pugs, along with boxers can be at a higher risk of heatstroke, along with older or overweight dogs.

The charity is also urging owners to check with the local council to make sure the beach they’re planning to visit is dog friendly, as many around the UK have restrictions between Easter and September.

Follow these steps to keep your dog safe at the beach this summer:


Dogs with pale-coloured fur or a sparse coat can be more vulnerable to sunburn. It’s important to make sure these dogs are kept in the shade on sunny days when the strong is at its strongest. You can also buy dog-friendly sun cream to pop on your dog’s ears.

Salt water

Although a great way to cool down, if your dog drinks salt water or licks it off their coat it can make them sick so make sure to keep an eye on your dog and to rinse their coat with fresh water


Not every dog can swim and some are better than others. Keep an eye on your dog as swimming can be tiring for them.  You should also be mindful of the tide as it’s not unknown for people and dogs to have been carried out to sea by riptides

Rock pools and other sharp objects

Keep an eye out for broken shells and other debris on the beach which could cause injury to your dog, and also keep an eye on them near rock pools as many have uneven and sharp surfaces which could cause injury to your dog.


If you’re taking food with you to the beach, or are near those with food, then consider keeping your dog on the lead while its out. That way people can enjoy their picnics, and you can make sure you dog doesn’t snatch a treat or two that they shouldn’t.

Other dogs

Be mindful of other dogs on the beach and if needed pop your dog on lead while others are nearby. Some areas such as promenades may also require you to keep your dog on lead.

Alison Thomas, Head of Veterinary Services at Blue Cross, said: “Going to the beach is fun for the whole family, including your dog, but we often see cases of dogs who have collapsed due to the heat here at our hospitals while just out on a normal walk during the summer months, especially flat-faced breeds such as French bulldogs and pugs. The beach holds many dangers for dogs so it’s important to keep a close eye on your pet, make sure they have access to clean water at all times, and to make your visit short during the cooler parts of the day.”

For more pet advice or to rehome a pet visit

Five-year old Spinger Spaniel Woody – photo credit Emily Wood