Summer Safety is a joint partnership with the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team and Newsquest International to make sure your Summer trips to the cast are ones to remember for all the right reasons – not the wrong ones.

It is often said that a dog is a person’s best friend and dogs absolutely love visiting the coastline and exploring.

A trip to the coast is a great way to get out and let your four-legged friend have a good run around, socialise with other dogs and perhaps even cool off in the hot weather with a paddle in the surf.

Sadly however it’s not uncommon for dogs to get themselves into a bit of difficulty when at the coast which can often lead to their owners also putting themselves at risk and put at danger as well. Some simple steps however can make all the difference between a fun day at the beach with your dog and a potential tragedy.

If walking your dog near to coastal cliff edges or big drops it’s always advisable to keep your dog on a lead – even if they have good recall. Dogs, just like their human owners, can sometimes get a bit excitable and end up getting a bit carried with themselves. If your dog is kept on a lead there’s a much smaller chance of your four-legged friend getting too close to the edge and taking a tumble over.

If your dog does end up going over the edge and becoming stranded below, we would urge people not to put themselves at risk. Coastguard Rescue Teams are specially trained and equipped for coastal cliff rescue including where domestic animals are involved.

A lot of dogs also love the water especially in the summer time when the temperatures are hot. Always choose your locations carefully if you’re intending to let your dog enter the water along the coast and consider the weather and sea conditions before letting them off the lead.

If your dog enters the water and gets into difficulty, as hard as it may be, the advice is not to enter the water to help. More often than not dogs will be able to help themselves and swim back to shore.

Sadly there’s been instances where dog owners have entered the water to help their dog with tragic consequences and the dog managing to return to safety.

The advice this year is really simple and that is #KnowWhoToCall if there’s an emergency at the coast. In a coastal, beach or cliff emergency it’s always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.