The beach is somewhere to be enjoyed by everyone and especially now that we are heading for warmer weather, Britain’s beaches are soon to become very popular. Dog owners also want to enjoy the beach this summer but what are the rules?

Keeping our shores clean

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to pick up after your dog. Beach goers do not want any surprises whilst they walk barefoot along the shore.

Keeping your dog safe

Plenty of owners encourage their dog to splash around in the water and chase after their favourite ball however at the beach, the open water can suddenly pick up a strong current. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, they are at very high risk. To reduce the risks to your dog at the beach, ensure that you are watching your dog at all times and keep them on leads if you feel there are any dangers.

Beaches usually have signposts that provide information on what areas and what times your dog is allowed on the beach. Most of these beaches require your dog to stay on lead throughout summer (usually 1st May-30th September) since this is peak time for visitors and the beaches get very full. The link below provides a list of the UK’s dog friendly beaches.


Many of the best dog friendly beaches are found in Devon and Cornwall such as Babbacombe and Perranporth which are renowned for their stunning views.

During the summer months, the beach can get very hot and sunny so making sure your dog isn’t exposed to too much sun it vital. An umbrella or picnic bench will provide an area of shade to protect your dog from the sun. You should also offer them cool, fresh water regularly. Another danger to be wary of is the hot sand as your dogs’ sensitive paws can be scolded. Laying out a towel or blanket will give your dog somewhere to cool off. If you think your dog is overheating, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Vomiting/diarrhoea
  • Rapid panting and drooling
  • Problems with coordination
  • Collapsing
  • Loss of consciousness

If you notice your dog displaying any of these symptoms, it is important to take them into the shade and find somewhere cool. If your dog has a short coat, is light in colour or has a pink nose, they are particularly at risk of sunburn. Sunscreen products are available for dogs and can be purchased from pet stores and online. This should be applied to the ears, nose and anywhere else on the dog that is exposed to direct sunlight.

If your dog is a keen swimmer, be cautious of them ingesting seawater as this can cause vomiting and acts as a laxative. It is also a good idea to make sure they are not swimming near rocks that may cause cuts and injuries as well as any marine life such as jellyfish that may sting.