Best Dog-Friendly Swim Beaches

PET CHECK BLOG Durdle Door beach, Dorset, England

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What Beaches Are Best For Your Dog With Clean Sea Water To Swim In?

The Cleanest And Dirtiest UK Seas

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All packed up and ready to go on staycations

Millions of Brits are taking holidays at home this year, staycations, weekend breaks and special days out. Seaside resorts are as busy as ever, many at full capacity, with everyone looking forward to getting away after Lockdowns.

You may be taking your dog with you for the first time on holiday, looking forward to long sunny dog walking days out on many of UK’s dog-friendly beaches, or taking in breath taking views whilst coastal walking, finishing off the day with some well-earned doggy paddling and swimming in the nearby sea.

Let’s face it, the UK does have more than 11,000 miles of coastline to choose from, as the OS inform us, so there’s plenty of beaches to go round for our resident 12.5 million UK dogs.

Which beach has the cleanest water for your dog to swim in?

Save On Energy decided to test the waters at more than 546 beach locations across the UK.

They investigated levels of faecal indicators (E. Coli (EC) and Intestinal Enterococci (IE)) in the ocean, as tested frequently by the government, to find the cleanest and dirtiest beaches in England, Scotland and Wales. Beaches were ranked from 0 (0) for the dirtiest and 100 for the cleanest.

Topping the list of best sea water were Cornish beaches, Sharrow Beach and Gyllyngvase. They were awarded 50 points for the lowest levels of E. Coli and 50 points for the lowest levels of Intestinal Enterococci, scoring perfect 100’s. Those scoring less were then graded downwards.

Astonishingly 7 of the bottom, dirtiest beaches were actually in Scotland. Kinghorn (Harbour Beach), situated in Fife, was ranked as the beach with the dirtiest water in the UK. The beach was awarded a final score of just 0.1.

Cornwall took 7 of the top ten spots, Wales took 2, Dorset 3, and Northumberland 1.

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There seems limited information as to whether the 546 locations were tested at the same time, on the same day, so there may be some ambiguity in their results.

Government department, The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs have been routinely testing beach water for years. They test during popular times, spring and summer seasons, and results are provided on their website.


Hundreds of UK beach locations have their own informative web page on the government’s ‘2021 Bathing Water Profile’, such as the famous featured picture of stunning Durdle Door, East and West beach, in Dorset, England.

The Isle of Thanet, Kent was recently subjected to a lightning strike hitting their coastal sewage pipes discharging foul raw waste sewage up and down 11 beaches. These sort of emergencies play havoc for tourism related businesses as well as visitors who have specially booked a holiday to take in the sea air with the expectation of clean beaches and to be able to swim!

It’s essential to keep an eye on local social media websites to make the best of your special trip.


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What is E. coli and how does it affect my pet?

PETMD has a vet-written highly informative web page providing information as to how E. coli affects puppies and dogs.

Colibacillosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, which normally resides in the lower intestines of most warm blooded mammals, including dogs. Normally, the presence of E. coli is benign, and even beneficial, but in some cases it can cause a diseased condition, especially in newborn puppies.


Symptoms and Types

2Colibacillosis is sudden (acute) in nature and may cause the following symptoms in an affected puppy:

  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Cold skin (due to low body temperature)
  • Bluish colored mucous membranes (i.e., gums, nostrils, lips, ears, anus) due to inadequate oxygen in red blood cells2.

Pet Check always state, remember to take your dog insurance and vet details with you when away from home. Contact local or 24/7 online vets at any sign of discomforts your dog may be showing after swimming.

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How To Prevent Dog Beach Accidents

Beach Dogs. What Are The Most Common Beach Accidents For Dogs? Beach dog accidents, tips to prevent dog beach accidents. Dog safety on beaches. Popular dog-friendly beaches.

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Restrictions Of Dogs On UK Beaches

Dog walking restrictions on UK beaches. Why are there restrictions for dog-walkers? Beaches and Promenades. Keeping beaches safe and clean. Who controls UK beaches? Having a day out with your dog.

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Choosing The Best Dog Paddling Pool

Why buy a dog a paddling pool? Whats the best paddling pool? Keeping dogs cool in summer. Pets At Home @PetsatHome paddling, pool., cool mats. BLOG

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Best Pet Water Fountains

Water fountains for your cat, dog, pet. Suitable for all year round use, especially hot days. For cats and dogs providing clean water 24/7. Best tips buying pet water fountains.

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What Are Dog Sun Canopies?

What are dog sun canopies? Dog sun shades. Why do we use them? Dog canopies for extra sun protection, dogs on beaches, dog walking days out, dog camping trips, hiking,

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