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Pembrokeshire Coast Summer Pet Safety



Grass Seeds

Seeds from grasses and other cereals can be very troublesome if they find their way into a dog’s eyes, ears or nose. If a grass seed ends up somewhere it shouldn’t be it can cause coughing, sneezing, discharge, discomfort and infection. Grass seeds can also cause skin problems; such as hives or rashes.


Heat Stroke

One of the biggest summer dangers for dogs is the heat. Tragically, every year dogs die from heat stroke after being left in cars. Dogs can also get heat stroke when exercising in hot weather, especially without access to sufficient drinking water. Dogs are very sensitive to heat because they cannot regulate their body temperature by sweating to cool down, in the way that humans do. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that causes great suffering and can cause serious damage to internal organs.



If dogs drink a large amount of salt water, they can suffer from salt poisoning. Signs of severe salt poisoning include continuous vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, stiffness, cramps and collapse. Be sure to have fresh water available for your dog when visiting Pembrokeshire’s beautiful beaches. Also be mindful that playing fetch in the sea may result in your dog gulping water down as they retrieve their ball.


Blue-Green Algae

When blue-green algae blooms in lakes, streams and seas, a poison can form in the water. There are many species of blue-green algae; only some produce toxic compounds. If a dog drinks or swims in the water, it can suffer from rapid and often fatal algae poisoning. Be wary of this when visiting any of our brilliant lakes, quarries or reservoirs.



Dogs are usually good swimmers, but each year in the UK, a number of dogs unfortunately drown. If a dog falls into the water from a boat, pool edge or jetty it can be very difficult to get them out of the water, especially if it is a heavy dog that is panicking. Every year there are news reports of dogs that have gone swimming after seagulls etc. and have become exhausted and unable to get back to shore.

Always use a life jacket on a boat or around the dock, even if your dog is well behaved. Dog life jackets have a handle on the top, which makes it easier to lift them out if they fall or jump in for a cool off. If your dog is likely to decide he’s going to swim out to bobbing seagulls or try to fetch you a floating buoy, it may be safest to keep them on a lead or longline while near water.


Cliff Safety

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park offers beautiful walks for us and our dogs but staying safe a long steep cliff edges and narrow paths is very important. Keeping dogs on leads is highly recommended, even if your dog has fantastic recall, as you never know what may be around the corner. Sheep, cattle, rabbits, birds and other wildlife can be found along the spectacular 186-mile trail, which could cause your dog to run off and find itself in a dangerous situation.


Bites / Stings

The summer heat brings out our native snakes and creepy crawlies. Adders, our only native venomous snake, like to bask in the sun along our coastal paths and in sand dunes and long grass. Adder bites can be very painful and become dangerously swollen very quickly, so seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Ticks, fleas and flies are also more active in the summer and can cause nasty skin irritations, infections, maggot infestations and transmit diseases. Try to check over your animals for any signs of these after a day of exploring.


Source: Summer Dangers for Dogs – First Vet June 2019

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01437 762806

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01437 762511

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01646 622010

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