A BEACH on Mersea Island has been named as one of the most dog-friendly places to visit in the UK.

West Mersea Beach, off Victoria Esplanade, has been recognised in the list by pet emergency service Vets Now.

The team put together a list of 50 dog-friendly beaches for owners and their prized pooches to enjoy.

Vets Now experts examined the UK’s beaches, creating a 32-page comprehensive digital guide on the best – and safest – beaches for dogs.

The beach was described as "relaxing and welcoming" by dog walkers on the island.

The guide said: "Yes, there are holiday parks and beach huts, but the vibe is very much laid-back and unspoilt.

"Families and walkers can enjoy the simpler seaside pleasures of digging in the sand or just watching the boats go by.

"It is also a good area for oysters and crabbing.

"Take note that this is an island connected to the mainland by a causeway which all but disappears on the highest tides — so check the tide times before you set of."


Laura Playforth, professional standards director at Vets Now and one of the authors of the Best Beach Guide, said: “We’ve only chosen beaches where: water quality is deemed high, dogs are welcome all year round, parking and access is good and a daytime vet is based nearby.

"The team were really impressed with West Mersea, especially the pet friendliness and facilities on offer, and believe it to be an ideal destination for the UK’s dog lovers.”

But Vets Now said even on the safest beaches, it’s always important to stay pet aware to ensure you and your dog have a fun and safe experience in the sun, surf and sand.

The team have also revealed 13 top tips for keeping man’s best friend safe on whatever sand adventure you choose.

Laura added: “Don’t be fooled by cool coastal breezes, temperatures on beaches often soar and you can be caught off guard, even at the end of summer. Be sure to provide a shaded area for your dog and give them plenty of fresh water.

“It can take just 15 minutes for a dog to die from a heat-related illness so never leave them in a sun trap or in a car for a nap – even with the windows down, it does little to affect the heat. Sadly this is an all-too common mistake which we see time and time again.

“If your dog is not used to swimming then the sea is not the place to start. Be careful of strong tides and rolling waves and make sure your dog doesn’t venture too far out. Waves and currents can quickly exhaust dogs.

"Also stop them lapping up sea water — the salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can make them sick. And keep a close eye on your dog if there’s likely to be jellyfish.

"Often lurking in shallow water or washed up on the beach, these troublesome creatures can cause a nasty sting and we’ve had to treat many an affected dog.”

To download the guide visit www.vets-now.com/dog-friendly-beaches/.