Pet owners given 'fatal' warning over new danger that could KILL dogs on walks

dog owner warning jellyfish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dog owners have been warned of a potentially fatal danger to be aware of when walking pooches on UK beaches.

This year, a vets have already warned dog owners over one key item to avoid this winter when going for frosty or snowy walks. While washing your dog's paws after every walk is recommended to avoid harm from gritting salt, pet owners were told not to walk their dogs earlier this month after a mysterious illness hit.

And while many of us know to be careful walking dogs during hot weather, now dog lovers have been urged to be careful when walking pups on beaches in the UK, after dangerous Portugese Man O'War jellyfish began washing up on Devon beaches.

The Dartmouth Coastguard Rescue Team issued a warning to advice dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash to protect them from the Portugese Man O'Wars, which have been spotted on a number of beaches along the Devon coast.

The creatures are toxic to dogs and can be lethal if ingested.

Portuguese Man O' War, beached on the South Cornwall coast, after storm Ophelia

Credit: Getty

While animal lovers' concerns about cats and dogs contracting coronavirus continue, the mystery jellyfish are also a cause of worry, as a coastguard spokesperson, said, "One of our team was out early today and came across this Portuguese Man O’War 'jellyfish' on Slapton Sands and others at Lannacombe Beach too. The one in the photo was about 7cm across the float.

"We normally see them in the summer but the wind direction has been from the West to South sector for a lot of the winter and they have been blown up the channel onto our beaches with the high winds today."

The jelly is said to have a sting that lasts for days, and it can sting even when dead on the beach. It is also toxic to dogs and can be lethal if eaten.

"It may be wise to keep your dog on a leash on the beach," the spokesperson added.

Credit: Getty Images

David Bailey, a volunteer coastguard, told the BBC, "It's a very stunning creature and... in warmer climates the tentacles can grow up to about 50cm in length."

David also warned beachgoers to "watch where you're sitting" as the creatures are often seen tangled in the seaweed, but adds that the news "shouldn't put you off going to the beach".

Kudzai Chibaduki
Features Writer

Kudzai Chibaduki joined Future as a trainee news writer for Good To, writing about fashion, entertainment, and beauty. She's now a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist and helps direct magazine photoshoots.