Dogs on the beach

Beach pollution - April 2016

It's been confirmed that the recent beach pollution was a hydrocarbon-based fuel very similar to paraffin wax and not palm oil. The fuel breaks down faster than palm oil and the lumps are smaller than some chunks of palm oil we have had in previous years.

The hydrocarbon-based fuel is less attractive to dogs than palm oil due to it's solvent smell. However, we still advise dog walkers to keep an eye on their dogs on the beach.

We have been working with Cityclean staff and volunteer teams such as Able and Willing to help with the clean-up process.

If you spot any suspect deposits on the beach please contact the council’s seafront team on 01273 292716.

Taking your dog to the seafront

From 1 October to 30 April, dogs are permitted on all beaches in Brighton & Hove. The rest of the year, dogs are only permitted on beaches listed as dog friendly beaches.

When you take your dog on the beach they must be supervised and under control at all times and any fouling must be cleared immediately (£500 fine).

Remember, dogs must be on a lead at all times while on the promenade. This is so everyone can enjoy a walk or run along the promenade. Dogs off their lead can jump up at children, tangle with joggers or cause fouling with the owner not noticing.

Please be aware of the changing conditions on the beach and keep your dog safe and away from the waters edge when the sea is rough. 

Dog friendly beaches

From 1 May to 30 September dogs are only permitted on the beaches listed below. Where possible we have a sign on each entrance to the beaches advising if dogs are allowed or not. 

An online map helps show the locations and the Seafront Office has leaflets.

The dog friendly beaches are:

  • the beaches between Longridge Avenue and the border with East Sussex (dogs banned from beach in front of Saltdean subway and first beach to the east)
  • the beaches between Chailey Avenue and Arundel Drive, West Rottingdean (dogs banned from beach in front of Rottingdean slope and first beach to the east)
  • beaches between West Marina Wall to Rottingdean slope**
  • beaches between the west wall of Brighton Marina and up to Volks Railway Aquarium station.
  • the beach in front and to the East of the Meeting Place Cafe, up to the large groyne with the lifering on. (Norfolk Groyne, opposite Ramada Jarvis Hotel)
  • the beach opposite Holland Road through to the east of the Lawns Cafe, at the bottom of St John's Road, Hove promenade
  • the beach to the west of the King Alfred car park through to Sackville Gardens.
  • the beach opposite Berridale/Welbeck Avenue through to the end of the Lagoon.
  • dogs are allowed on the upper and lower promenade but must be on leads.

**Although the beach at Ovingdean Cafe is dog friendly, we ask all dog owners to be mindful of others, especially when the lifeguard post is open. We encourage people to swim on lifeguarded beaches and do not want them to be put off by an over excited dog.

If you have any further enquiries please contact the Seafront Office or speak to a lifeguard.

Palm oil

If you have a dog, please be aware of solidified palm oil that you might find on our beaches. 

Look out for white lumps that look a bit candle wax as it is likely to be congealed palm oil. It could smell rotten, but dogs will often eat it if given the chance and ingesting the palm oil can make them very ill.. If you come across something that you think might be palm oil please keep your dog away and report it to the Seafront Office.

In October 2013 a ship poured a large amount of this oil into the sea off the coast of Cornwall. It has been emulsified with sea water into a thick white substance and as it's been in the open for a long period of time it is now rancid.

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service has reported:

"We have received a number of emergency enquiries about dogs that have eaten it (palm oil). The main problems are vomiting and diarrhoea and these can lead to dehydration, particularly in young or small dogs. We do not think it is the age of the oil that is causing this, as fresh oil would cause the same problems. There is also a potential risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreatitis) which can result in vague, non-specific signs including vomiting and diarrhoea. This is a risk in dogs that eat a large amount of any fatty or oily food substance. There have been reports of blockages of the gut in dogs that have eaten palm oil washed up in Cornwall. 

We would suggest anyone with a dog that has eaten palm oil to contact their vet for advice, particularly if the dog is already unwell. There is no specific treatment, but the dog may need medication to control vomiting and intravenous fluid to treat or prevent dehydration. The main thing owners can do is prevent exposure."