As we head into this busy holiday beach weekend veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber warns sand ingestion is common.

If you’ve got a dog and live near a beach, chances are it’s one of your pup’s favorite places to play catch. But that sand on the tennis ball or frisbee could be very dangerous for your dog, experts warn.

A condition known as sand impaction can occur when a dog ingests too much sand, leading to a painful blockage in the intestines. And as we head into this busy holiday beach weekend, veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber warns that sand ingestion is common.

“Most dogs don’t want to chomp on sand and eat it but they will pick it up when chasing the ball, chasing the frisbee or running on the beach, or picking up something along the shore. They’re ultimately going to ingest sand,” he tells Inside Edition.

He says a serious case of sand impaction can cause stomach pain and vomiting.

“It can cause a blockage, it doesn’t pass easily,” he says. “When it gets wet, it gets very heavy, like a sandcastle and just sits there… if it makes its way into stomach and intestine, [it] can cause a blockage.”

When playing with your dog on the beach, Werber says it is important to remember to wipe sand off any toys. Also, be sure to check your dog’s mouth and jowls, and brush all the sand away from their faces so they don’t lick it and ingest it.

Also be mindful of the temperature when heading to the sand with your dog. If the hot sand feels like it is burning your feet, Werber says it’s also burning your dog’s paws, and it is time to go home.

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