All UK dog owners and swimmers are being warned about the dangers of a small poisonous fish that can be found on beaches.

Weever fish, also known as sting fish, are found in both sandy and muddy sea beds and pose a very serious threat.

Despite their size, they are arguably one of the most dangerous fish Brits will encounter due to the nasty venom they can release.

The sand-coloured fish can easily camouflage into their surroundings, spending most of their time buried in the sand with just their dorsal fin above ground.

Said dorsal fin, which has a knack for finding itself in beachgoers' feet, contains three spines of venom that protect the weever fish from any potential threats.

The level of pain varies between people due to each individual’s pain tolerance and also due to the number of spines that punctured the skin.

Being stung by a weever fish can be painful, but it is generally nothing to worry about as it does not cause any long-term damage.

That said, there have been recent reports of a dog choking on its own blood and nearly dying after being stung by a weever fish.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) advice for  weever fish stings:

If you find yourself stung by a weever fish at a lifeguarded beach, quickly alert a lifeguard and they will be on hand to apply medical attention.

  • Keep the injured area in warm water for as long as possible. RNLI lifeguards dealing with stings will keep them in warm water for around 10 minutes until the pain becomes bearable.
  • Wash the area with warm soapy water. This keeps the area around the puncture free of dirt and helps prevent infections.
  • Check and care for the wound as people may need to bandage the punctured area.

The charity’s lifeguards will continue to monitor you after carrying out the above steps to prevent any allergic reactions.

To avoid getting stung, the RNLI advise all beachgoers to wear wetsuit boots or swimming shoes when wading in the shallows.

This movement disrupts the sand and scares nearby fish away.

There are greater risks than weever fish in the coastal environment, which is why the RNLI encourage all beachgoers to choose a lifeguarded beach.

If you are planning on entering the water, please swim between the red and yellow flags so the patrolling lifeguards can quickly locate you if you require assistance.

If you find yourself or anyone else in trouble in and around the water when visiting a lifeguarded beach, please dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.