DOG owners are being warned to be careful while walking their pets on local beaches after four pets were poisoned by washed-up palm oil.
One terrified dog walker had to rush her two animals for emergency treatment after they ate the substance which had been floated ashore near Hengistbury Head.
Laura Roepstorff’s dogs came across lumps of a “waxy substance” on the shoreline. She posted a photo of it on Facebook asking if it was palm oil, which is extremely toxic to dogs.
When she was told it was, she immediately rushed them to Riverside Vets in Tuckton.
She later reported: “The dogs have thrown up loads of palm oil after an injection to make them sick.
“They are fine now after throwing it all up but have been given an activated charcoal tablets for the rest of the day.”
A nurse at the vets revealed that they had had a total of four incidents involving pets and the oil.
Posting on its website, Jo Willis said: “Please stay away or keep your dog on a short lead at Hengistbury Head and surrounding beaches as we have had four palm oil poisonings in the last 24 hours.
“If your dog ingests this, you must take them to your vets immediately as it can be fatal.”
BCP Council has now issued a warning to pet owners in the area.
Cllr Mark Anderson, cabinet member for environment, cleansing and waste, said: “We’d like to thank the member of the public who reported the palm oil on the beach at Hengistbury Head to us.
“Our beach cleansing and seafront ranger teams carry out daily checks of the shoreline and were quick to respond, removing a large piece of old palm oil that we believe was washed ashore during the recent stormy weather.
“It is not uncommon for palm oil to wash up along our coastline throughout the year and we would advise dog owners to remain vigilant and report any suspected palm oil to us so we can respond accordingly.’’
A New Forest District Council spokesperson said it was also carrying out searches of coastal areas for palm oil.
She also warned dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead and email any sightings of palm oil to firstname.lastname@example.org