Dog walking

Don’t get yourself into danger while trying to rescue a family pet from the water. Get the RNLI’s advice and tips on safe dog walking by the coast.

Stay safe while walking your dog
Stay safe while walking your dog

If you get in trouble at the coast, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. For the latest advice, visit our beach safety page.

It's important to keep yourself safe when you walk me. Please remember:

  • Keep me on a lead if we're close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers.
  • If I go into the water or get stuck in mud, don't go after me. Move to a place I can get to safely and call me - I'll probably get out by myself.
  • If you're worried about me, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Rescue tails

A rescue gone wrong 

When Eoin’s spaniel Wilson chased a seagull over a cliff edge, he didn’t hesitate to get in his kayak and attempt to rescue his four-legged friend. Submerged rocks and a heavy swell meant Eoin was soon in trouble himself. Read the full story in our Magazine.

Fethard lifeboat helping a dog walker in trouble

An emotional reunion

Many dog owners find themselves in trouble when they try to rescue their pets instead of calling 999 or 112 for the Coastguard. Blackpool volunteers launched to help a woman and a dog in difficulty in the water. Watch as the relieved owner is reunited with her beloved pet.

Stuck in the mud

Whitstable lifeboat was called out to help other emergency services after a woman walking her two dogs became trapped waist-deep in a mud slide. Watch the rescue footage.

Figures taken from:

  • RNLI lifeboat return of service data UK and Ireland 2015.

Don’t be a statistic

57 lifeboat launches to dogs in 2020

124 dog walking incidents attended by lifeguards in 2020