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Is it Dangerous for Dogs to Burrow in Sand?

My dog Cody loves to go to beach, and we go almost every weekend. After a couple of dives, Cody snuggles in the sand and...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jun 14th 2008


My dog Cody loves to go to beach, and we go
almost every weekend. After a couple of dives,
Cody snuggles in the sand and his face, eyes and
nose become covered with sand. He repeats a routine
of diving and snuggling a dozen times while we are
at the beach. I don’t know if that’s ok. He
sneezes often, and I wonder if sand is in his
nose. He is healthy & active, eats & sleeps well,
eyes are shiny and nose is wet, just right. Thank
you!

Hiro
Long Beach, CA

I doubt that Cody’s activities at the beach are harming him.

Sand certainly can be irritating to the eyes (I know this from personal experience), but you mention that Cody is not suffering from overt eye problems. Sand in the nose can cause sneezing. However, I would expect such sneezing to be violent and to occur just after the sand has entered his nose. If he is sneezing intermittently throughout the day, sand probably isn’t the culprit. Most dogs I know sneeze at least a few times every day.

Dogs that eat lots of of sand at the beach can develop a syndrome known as sand impaction. In this syndrome, large clumps of sand lodge in the intestines. This can be a very serious situation, but it is very rare, even among dogs that love the beach.

As long as he is feeling well and not showing signs of eye, nose, digestive or ear problems (sand can get into the ears and cause problems on occasion), I see no harm in Cody’s activities.