Animals lovers are being reminded of some top tips to keep their furry friends safe during the warmer months.
Dog walkers have been warned of some of the dangers facing their pets while out walking and playing on beaches, in a Baywatch campaign launched by a North East veterinary group.
Sea water, seaweed, palm oil, jellyfish and dead crabs and sea birds washed up on the shore can cause illness and injury or even kill pets - and is expected that a number of dogs will suffer with symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting and, in severe cases, liver failure, after eating something they shouldn’t on the beach.
Owners are also being warned about the danger of pets drowning if they are caught in high tides or strong currents while swimming.
Stings from jellyfish can trigger a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. Symptoms include blistering, burning pain, changes in heart rhythm, difficulty breathing, itching, nausea, fever, excessive drooling, vomiting, swellings and hives.
Seaweed, washed-up crabs and dead sea birds can cause sickness if eaten while seaweed can also expand in a dog’s stomach and become lodged in the gut.
Sea water also causes sickness in dogs due to its salt content, bacteria and parasites.
Owners are urged to carry fresh water for dogs to drink and rinse their coats with after swimming in the sea. If you suspect your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t have, contact your vet immediately.
The advice has been issued Clifton Lodge Vets, which has surgeries in Hartlepool, Sedgefield, Billingham and Horden. The group also recommends always keeping your dog in sight while swimming in the sea and using dog life jackets.