Dogs and Water

Although we may love them to bits, dog can cause significant impacts to rivers, streams and ponds. Please follow the advice below to make sure you, your dog and wildlife all have a good time when you’re out on a walk. 

Many dogs love to play in water, but a balance must be found to ensure that wildlife is not impacted. Repeated disturbance caused by dogs running in and out of ponds erodes the bank, damaging plant life and releasing sediment into the water. This clouds the water, blocking out light for the plants and animals living below.

In addition flea treatments added to the back of dogs necks contain pesticides that can kill freshwater invertebrates. This treatment is very soluble, washing off when your dog has a swim and potentially harming animals such as dragonfly larvae, beetles and mayflies. As well as being stunning creatures in themselves, freshwater invertebrates are a key food source for fish, birds and mammals.

Research by Buglife found that half of the sites they monitored in England for neonicotinoids (a pesticide found in flea treatment) exceed chronic pollution limits for the chemical and two rivers are acutely polluted. Please click here for the full report.

What can you do? 

  • Read Buster and Molly’s guide on ponds (by Freshwater Habitats Trust) to find out how you and your pooch can best protect your freshwater environment.
  • Please take your dogs to designated dog ponds and dog dip sections of rivers to let your dogs swim (see below).
  • Do not let your dog climb in and out of rivers and ponds repeatedly, especially where the backs are steep and soil erosion is likely.
  • Do not let your dog go swimming for several days after you have applied flea treatment.


Designated Dog Swim Areas

If your pooch fancies a paddle, please help our local river by encouraging them to go into the water using designated “dog dip” sites that we have specially made in Meadowcroft Open Space, Aylesbury. In partnership with AVDC, we have surfaced the river’s edge at the dog dip spots to reduce soil and sediment erosion into the water.