Dog Ate Sand on the Beach – What to Do Next

Going to the beach with your dog can be a great and relaxing experience, but it comes with a little bit of risk. Your dog might think that the sand is edible and end up ingesting unknown amounts of sand. If your dog has eaten sand from the beach follow this guide to help get you through this potentially dangerous situation.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Sand

If you know your dog has eaten sand the first thing you need to do is call the veterinarian. It’s important to call the veterinarian right away because eating sand could be life-threatening for a dog if the sand sits in the guts long enough and hinders gut movement. You want to also monitor your dog for concerning symptoms such as vomiting and lethargy.

If your dog is vomiting blood or something that looks like coffee grounds, this is a serious situation. You also want to monitor for other serious symptoms such as severe belly pain, anorexia, pale gums, and black stool. Black stool is serious because if it’s black then there’s likely a lot of blood in the stool.

These symptoms in particular could result in a life-threatening situation. Call the veterinarian and explain what symptoms, if any, your dog is currently experiencing. The veterinarian will tell you the best steps to take at that point, including at-home care that you could try if the symptoms are mild enough.

How Do I Stop My Dog from Eating Sand?

The only way to really stop your dog from eating sand is to monitor him constantly while he is at the beach and not leave him unattended. Your dog is likely to ingest a little bit of sand, such as while licking his paws after a beach trip.

Usually a little bit of sand will not hurt a dog as it’s the bigger amounts often times causing gut problems. If you are worried about your dog eating a lot of sand, you also can muzzle your dog while at the beach. The muzzle will stop your dog from being able to ingest large amounts of sand.

Can Eating Sand Hurt a Dog?

A lot of people don’t think about it very much but sand is fairly dangerous for a dog to ingest. Sand impaction is the most common issue for dogs, which is basically a digestive problem. If your dog eats a lot of sand it can end up sitting there in the intestinal tract and cause a lot of problems.

Think of sand sitting in the stomach as a pile of concrete due to it being thick and heavy inside the intestines. Your dog will have problems with his guts and normal gut movements is likely to cease if the content inside the intestines isn’t able to move along smoothly.

When the gut fails to move properly, it’s likely to cause your dog to feel nauseous. Dehydration and vomiting are likely to occur, and your dog needs to get to the veterinarian quickly. Sand impaction can lead to death if the sand is a large enough amount and sits in the guts for too long. Most of the time, intravenous fluids are given to stop the dehydration and also help the gut move regularly again.

Due to sand being such a heavy substance, it could take several days before the sand is fully moved out of the guts. Discomfort can happen due to irritation caused by the sand and the dog could also have some discomfort if he begins to poop out sand pieces. Pain relievers and fluids are the best course of action to get the sand moving out of the guts, but it’s a very slow process.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Christine Jehu | 23/02/2020

    Our dog injests quite a late amount of sand while we throw a ball for her to fetch on the beach. We have noticed sand in her stools, but not been vomiting or lethargic. Our dog does have a drink of water before getting in car. After reading the article we won’t be throwing ball for her, we will have to find something else for to do on Beach.

  • Tiara Henderson | 10/10/2020

    Our puppy probably ingested some sand while digging at the beach. She didn’t “eat” it and was never left unattended. She pooped twice (which is a lot for her) at the beach. The first was normal, the second was runny. But now she has vomited up the food she ate before we went to the beach. She is drinking. We will give it a couple more hours to see if she eats dinner. Any suggestions?

  • Andrew | 06/11/2020

    My 12 year old chihuahua ate a small amount of sand while at the beach. The next day she vomited and has loss some appetite and feels lethargic. Should I take her to a vet or wait to see if she gets better?

  • Tammi | 24/06/2021

    Our 11 month old puppy dug in the sand at the cottage and then became very ill. Vomiting not eating and very lethargic. Had a sand blockage in small intestine. ER vet tried iv fluids to flush. No go. Ended up having a very expensive surgery to remove sand. Now we have a muzzle for the cottage

  • corinna | 09/09/2021

    yes, my dutchound gulps up sand ,( she ‘s being fed great variety of best food with soup , all organic…still ) she got extremely sick one night ,pacing, shivering, the next morning all this poop came out finally was all now I make a lot of vegetable soup that I pour over her food to make her feel ” full “..and yes have to order a muzzle because we all workout on the beach everyday.

  • John | 07/09/2023

    Well I am sure am glad I am reading this now and not 9 years ago
    Our 9 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback is on the beach 5 days a week. Occasionally he will run sprints and at each turn eat a mouth full of sand. Couple days later he passes the sand and his turds are extremely heavy and full of sand.
    Have never noticed any problems with him after eating sand.
    If I read this article the first time he ate sand I would be freaking out.

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