The Dangers of Coastal Paths for Dogs


Dogs / Wed, May 31st, 2017

If you enjoy a good walk in the countryside, it is hard to beat a day out exploring a picturesque coastal path. With amazing views, the sea beneath you and the ever changing terrain, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time. It is an experience that you will want to share with your pooch, but coastal paths are dangerous places for dogs.

Lulworth Cove

I love a good hike on the Jurassic Coast. There is always plenty to see and the ups and downs of the trails ensure that I benefit from a good workout. I always encounter plenty of dogs as I walk but have often wondered how safe they were high up on the cliffs. I regularly walk my friend’s exuberant young dog but have never taken her for a hike on the coast because I would be too scared of her having an accident. It is isn’t always obvious that there is a steep drop just a few feet from the path and I could imagine that an excited dog could easily meet with disaster.

Accidents in Pembrokeshire

I had just been thinking about the coast today when I saw a warning which has been issued by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. With Summer approaching, I am sure that they are expecting many visitors to walk the coastal paths over the coming months. The Authority have said that sheep recently had to be rescued after being chased by dogs and that the body of a dog was retrieved after it had fallen off a cliff.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority are aware of 10 incidents in 2016 in which dogs had to be rescued or died after a fall. This information has confirmed my thoughts about the coastal paths so I decided to seek advice as I would like to take my friend’s dog to the coast.

Here’s what experts advise:

  • Always keep your dog in sight
  • If the dog does not have a reliable recall, keep them on a lead
  • Always keep your dog on a lead in the vicinity of livestock
  • Ensure that your dog does not approach the edge of a cliff. There are often rabbits about. The bunnies will know when to stop but your dog won’t.
  • Don’t allow your dog to run up to strangers as they may be scared of dogs and fall off the cliff themselves in an attempt to evade your dog.
  • Don’t take your dog on a coastal path unless they are microchipped and have a name tag. It’s a big world out there and dogs can easily lose their way.
  • Take fresh water and a bowl so your dog doesn’t get dehydrated.
  • Don’t take long walks on exposed cliffs in the heat as your dog may suffer from heat stroke.
  • Don’t forget your poo bags!
  • Never leave your dog in the car, even for a couple of minutes. The sea breeze will make you think that the temperature is cooler than it really is.

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