5 Surprising Beach Dangers for Dogs

It’s almost the weekend and if you live in California you might be headed to the beach!

The beach is one of Rooney’s favorite places. Nothing makes him happier than digging in the sand and launching himself into the waves!

If your dog also loves the beach, before you get ready to leave your home, you might want to consider the following beach dangers for dogs.

As you might know, I have Trupanion pet insurance for Rooney and I often work with Trupanion to provide pet parents with important safety information. I want to thank their team for providing us with the awesome following information:


Most pet parents don’t realize that their pet can get sunburned. As a result, last summer I put together a blog post about the dangers of sunburn and how you can protect your dog from harmful rays.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

You may not realize it, but even dogs can get sunburns. Their noses, bellies, and areas with particularly thinner fur are susceptible to the sun’s hot rays so it’s important to protect your pooch. Provide shade with a beach umbrella and consider dog-friendly sunscreen. (Sunscreen made for humans can make your pet sick if he tries to lick it off.) Also consider looking into doggy sun goggles to protect your pooch’s eyes from harmful rays.

Salt Water

Rooney has a tendency to swallow too much water whenever he swims. Therefore, when we take him to the beach, we have to limit his swimming to avoid letting him swallow the salt water. Trupanion had some unique insights regarding the dangers of salt water.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

Your pup may be inclined to lap up the salty ocean water if he’s thirsty, but the salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can make them sick. Prevent your dog from drinking salt water by providing plenty of fresh water. It’s also important not to let the salt water dry on their fur since it can irritate their skin. Be sure to give your pup a good rinse off with fresh water when he’s done swimming.

Seaweed & Sea Creatures

Because we live in Northern California, we have to be very diligent about keeping Rooney away from the jellyfish. Unfortunately, beaches here can be covered in them! Whenever we visit a beach with a lot of jellyfish, I keep Rooney on a leash and bring his long 30ft leash in case we find places with fewer creatures & seaweed for him to play.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

While exploring the beach you may come across washed up sea life and other items. Keep a close eye on your dog to prevent him from rolling in or eating anything that could make him sick. Some areas also have higher danger of sea creatures like jellyfish so be sure to keep a close watch on the surrounding waters to keep your pet safe.

Hot Sand

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but I have most certainly burned my own feet on the sand. Paw pads are very sensitive and it can be easy to forget about warm surfaces when you have shoes on, so avoid hot days at the beach.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

If the sand is too hot for you to walk barefoot, then it’s too hot for your pup’s paw pads. Save your beach trip for a cooler day or go in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat.

Big Waves

Beaches in Northern California can have sneaker waves which come up and surprise people and their pets.

For this reason, when Rooney is swimming I keep a life jacket on him and lots of treats in my pockets so that he has really good recall. If the waves seem too big, I keep him on a leash and run in the water with him.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

Your dog may be a strong swimmer, but large rolling waves can be very dangerous. You might choose to keep your dog on a leash so that he can’t go out too far, or purchase a dog life jacket in case he gets too tired swimming.

Trupanion Claims

In addition to providing us with this thorough list and ways to keep our pets safe, Trupanion also shared that the two most common beach-related claims are heatstroke and dehydration. Which have an average treatment cost of $2,100 and $580 respectively.

In addition to those common claims, Trupanion has paid claims for dogs who have ingested the following items:

  • Fish hooks
  • Frogs
  • Starfish
  • Jellyfish

Having Fun Anyway

Of course, this post was not meant to scare you out of taking your dog to the beach. However, if you are like me, you might be thinking to yourself…”No way! We can’t go, there are too many dangers”. Then you will calm down and remember how awesome the beach is and how much your dog loves it, and you will simply go to the beach prepared:

Beach Prep Checklist:

Towels: for obvious reasons

Doggie Shampoo: for rinsing off afterward

Leashes: one short, one long (just to be prepared for all scenarios)

Poop Bags: Probably one of the most important places to pick up after your dog

Water Bottle: Gulpy is my favorite travel dog water bottle

Sunscreen: Don’t forget to make sure it’s pet-friendly!

Life jacket: Especially if you have a Corgi (not known for their swimming skills)

Umbrella: Make sure your pet has space to rest in the shade

Treats: For recall

Dog Goggles: To protect your dog’s eyes from the sun

Everything You Need When Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Photography in this post: Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography

Disclaimer: Trupanion pet insurance provided me with this content to share, but I was not compensated for my opinions. My Kid Has Paws always shares information we feel is important to our readers.

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    Kimberly Gauthier
    August 12, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I always forget about the creatures in the water. We have very curious dogs and they haven’t been exposed to starfish, jellyfish, crabs, or seals. There is a beach a 30-minute drive away that I want to take the dogs to before the end of the summer. We would go early in the morning, but not too early. We have to give the seals time to leave the beach, but be there before the people arrive for clamming.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Reply
    M. K. Clinton
    August 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    If we ever get the boys to a beach, we will definitely use your list. #Newbie Your photos are gorgeous. ♥
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…A Surprise Package from Natural BalanceMy Profile

  3. Reply
    Groovy Goldendoodles
    August 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

    A few weeks ago the sand was so hot I thought I was going to have to carry Jaxson. We hovered in the shade for a few moments and then made a mad dash for it. Ran straight for the water. All great tips – enjoyed reading. Can never know enough about how to keep our pups safe.
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…ULTRA OIL FOR PETSMy Profile

  4. Reply
    August 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Pawsome post Rachel!

    Great tips & safety precautions!
    3 bum swings! 3 more!

    CEO Olivia

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