As the world comes to grips with COVID-19 and self-isolation methods, many Bellarine Peninsula residents will turn to walking their dogs on the beach while keeping a safe distance from others.
With warmer-than-average days and evenings predicted for this autumn according to the Bureau of Meteorology, PETstock veterinarian Dr Rod Sharpin is reminding pet parents to be wary of the dangers when visiting the beach.
“While dogs love a day on the beach, it’s important that pet owners keep a close eye for any potential risks that could spoil a great day out,” he said.
“Things to look out for include jellyfish, deep water or large waves that can cause ocean water to be swallowed. Also remember heat stroke could be a problem on a hot day if dogs are not swimming.
“Keep an eye on your buddy – make sure they are always within eyesight (and earshot) so you can catch them before they do or touch something they shouldn’t.”
Some of the danger signs from jellyfish, snakes (in the sand dunes), chewing bait or fish hooks may include swelling, local pain, wobbliness, drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. If you suspect your furry friend may have eaten, touched or sniffed something they shouldn’t have, and is showing any of the above signs, take your pet to the vet immediately for evaluation and treatment.
With many people currently self-isolating and working from home, Dr Sharpin said it’s important that when taking a break from the confines of the home, pet owners are extra vigilant with outdoor play in public spaces including the beach and practice social distancing.