Posted 2 months ago ago
A day at the beach is just what the doctor ordered come summertime - going for a paddle, playing about on the sand, and of course fish and chips and ice cream - it’s the family day out that will never go out of fashion.
And when we say the whole family, we mean the dog too, of course.
A trip to the seaside has universal appeal - whether you’ve got children, no matter what age, a day out with friends, or even if it’s just you and the dog - we all love it.
But as fun as it might be, there are some potential dangers, especially for dogs - fish hooks, jellyfish, low tides to name just a few.
(Image: Steve Daniels)
While we don’t have any beaches here in Manchester, we’ve got plenty that are just an hour or so away by car. And we’re spoilt for choice, from the north coast of Wales to Merseyside and then up to Lancashire.
And it’s one of the beaches in Lancashire that has actually been featured in the guide - Bispham Beach. It typically takes between an hour and an hour and a half by car, depending on traffic.
Bispham Beach, just north of Blackpool, got the expert seal of approval for its sweeping expanses and on a quiet day, you and your dog could have large swathes of the beach to yourself.
Laura Playforth, professional standards director at Vets Now and one of the authors of the Best Beach Guide, said: “Unfortunately, pet emergencies don’t take summer holidays and each summer we witness a significant rise in emergency cases that are related to beaches and the sea.
“We’ve only chosen beaches where: water quality is deemed high, dogs are welcome all year round, parking and access is good and a daytime vet is based nearby.
“All those featured are within an hour’s drive of a Vets Now pet emergency clinic or hospital so, if you’re at the beach in the evening or weekend and suffer a pet emergency, you know you’re never far from expert help. Remember we also have Video Vets Now where you can speak to an experienced vet from anywhere.
“The team were really impressed with Bispham Beach, especially its pet friendliness and facilities on offer, and believe it to be an ideal destination for the UK’s dog lovers.”
Laura also had some advice on how to keep your dog safe at the beach, she said: “Don’t be fooled by cool coastal breezes, temperatures on beaches often soar and you can be caught off guard, even at the end of summer.
“Be sure to provide a shaded area for your dog and give them plenty of fresh water.
“It can take just 15 minutes for a dog to die from a heat-related illness so never leave them in a sun trap or in a car for a nap – even with the windows down, it does little to affect the heat. Sadly this is an all-too common mistake which we see time and time again.
“If your dog is not used to swimming then the sea is not the place to start. Be careful of strong tides and rolling waves and make sure your dog doesn’t venture too far out.
“Waves and currents can quickly exhaust dogs. Also stop them lapping up sea water — the salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can make them sick.
“And keep a close eye on your dog if there’s likely to be jellyfish. Often lurking in shallow water or washed up on the beach, these troublesome creatures can cause a nasty sting and we’ve had to treat many an affected dog.