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How to keep your dog safe at the beach

For many, a day at the beach wouldn’t be complete without the company of our canine friends. That’s why we’re proud to have a dog friendly coastline. However, in return we expect dogs to be kept under control at all times.

Green Sefton partner with Dogs Trust Merseyside to host pop-ups through the year at both Ainsdale and Crosby beach. We aim to raise awareness of safety at the beach, and also offer visitors the chance to get expert advice and discounted dog training from Dogs Trust.

Additionally, we use the events to recruit Dog Rangers who will promote responsible dog ownership and behaviour at beaches and parks.

And while there’s so much fun to be had, beaches can pose a range of hazards to both our dogs and wildlife if not kept under control.


Dogs should not be allowed to chase birds on the beach, especially large flocks of roosting waders, terns and gulls, all of which use this coastline as an essential stop off or breeding site along the East Atlantic Flyway.

It is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to allow your dog to disturb these birds.

There are many pools across our coastline which are integral for the survival of Natterjack Toads. These pools are the only place the toads will breed and allowing dogs into their nesting pools can have a detrimental impact on their survival.

Evidence shows that dogs entering pools kick up silt and their flea treatment can contaminate bodies of water and be harmful to aquatic life such as Natterjack Toads.

Dog control and recall

In a world of online misinformation, it’s difficult to determine who and what can be trusted when it comes to dog behaviour and training.

Dogs Trust are the UK’s leading dog welfare charity and offer expert advice on all areas of dog ownership. People can find out more at as well as following Merseyside Police’s #TakingtheLead campaign.

Dog control is so important when visiting our coast and greenspaces. A number of situations can arise at any moment that require full recall of your dog.

This can vary from recalling your dog away from other dogs that may be reactive, to preventing your dog from disturbing wildlife.

If your dog doesn’t have a reliable and consistent recall, you should keep them on a lead.


We all know litter has a detrimental impact on wildlife, but dogs are also at risk if they were to consume any.

And if glass and other sharp objects are not disposed of properly, they can become partially covered in sand and be a real risk for people and animals when walking along our coastline.

That’s why the Council urges all visitors to leave no trace and take all their belongings and waste home with them.

There is always a huge ‘thank you’ to those people who do that and to the brilliant volunteer groups who organise beach clean ups and litter picks.

Last Updated on Friday, March 15, 2024

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