Advice on what to do if your dog is stung by a jellyfish, emergency treatment and a guide to identifying jellyfish found in British around Britain’s beaches.
Dogs love the beach; they are a great place for pets to cool off, get some exercise and play, there are however some important precautions to take to keep pets safe, even at beaches designated specifically for dogs. (See our guide).
Some of the issues, like your dog running from the beach to the road whilst chasing seagulls or swimming out to sea, might seem obvious but there are some less common dangers you should be aware of such as jellyfish stings.
Dogs can get stung by jellyfish in the same way a human can; in the water or by standing on a washed up one, as jelly fish can sting even when dead. The types of jellyfish we encounter around British shores are unlikely to be serious but they can cause some extreme reactions if your dog happens to be allergic to it’s venom.
Treatment at the Scene.
This is the same as the advice for humans.
Let’s get this first one out of the way; don’t pee on your dog! It’s not going to help, it’s a myth perpetuated in film and TV and the reality is, it could make it worse… no one’s going to thank you for it.
Do all this first, then if there’s a complication, get your dog to the vets. Jellyfish stings in Britain are rarely serious unless your dog has an allergic reaction. On the odd occasion some foreign species of jellyfish are washed up, mainly the Portuguese man of war, (which isn’t officially a jelly fish, however you’ll identify it as one,) can give a stronger sting than the more common varieties, but again, rarely fatal if dealt with as below.
- Wear rubber gloves– Touching the tentacles of the jellyfish with your bare hands can lead to being stung.
- Use rubbing alcohol or vinegar– Pouring rubbing alcohol on the tentacles (70 percent or more) as this helps prevent them from triggering more stings to the dog.
- Try tape– Sticky tape can be helpful in removing tentacles.
- Remove remains– Pour sea water or sand over anything stuck in the dog. Do not use freshwater, as more toxins can be released.
- Administer Benadryl– Seek veterinary advice and assistance for the correct dosage for your dog.
- Make a baking soda paste– Pack the sting sites with a paste consisting of baking soda and water to soothe the sting.
- Apply heat– Applying a heat pack to the affected area, or immersing it in hot water helps to reduce pain and inflammation. (Obviously check the temperature of the water yourself first.)
- Try and get a sample of the Jelly fish in a plastic bag so that the Vet can see what they’re dealing with.
Download this Jelly fish guide