Palm oil on beaches

Palm oil waste from transport ships caused by cleaning out their tanks off the coast of Britain regularly washes up on beaches, particularly in winter or following stormy weather. It can be eaten by dogs when walked on affected beaches.

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil, which is semi-solid at room temperature and is used in processed foods, toiletries and as a biofuel.  It can vary in appearance (from whitish-grey to yellow lumps) depending on the source and age. Palm oil may absorb fat-soluble material such as diesel that may also be present in seawater and may be an additional potential hazard.

Ingestion of palm oil may cause vomiting and diarrhoea or loose stools in dogs.  Other potential signs include abdominal discomfort, belching and lethargy, but many dogs remain well even after they have apparently eaten a large amount.

Back to News