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Bali Tourists Warned About Beach Dogs After Attack

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Bali’s beach and stray dogs are often cited as part of the charm of the island.

The most friendly, relaxed beach dogs who roam freely along the beaches at Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and even as far as Canggu are often loved by tourists and fed by local beach bar and surf school owners.

dog on a beach in Bali

However, tourists on the island are being urged to play it safe when it comes to interacting with the beach dogs. While cute and most affectionate, the issue of stray dogs on Bali’s beaches has been a hot topic for years.

The local government regularly holds mass vaccination drives to ensure that all dogs known to the community are protected against rabies. Neutering clinics are also often held in the area in partnership with local animal welfare charities. 

Following a beach dog attack against a tourist on Monday, the Head of Legian Village, Eka Martini, explained how the local authorities will be protecting beachgoers moving forward. Martini revealed, “We received reports of tourists being bitten by dogs at Legian Beach.”

@kylietaubes why am i tearing up watching this – – – – – – – #dog #wholesome #beachdog #bali #travel #cuteness #sunset #viral ♬ life is great – sew

He continued, “During the incident, the tourist who was walking was suddenly attacked by a dog, so the tourist suffered injuries to his legs.”

Martini confirmed that the tourist was taken to hospital to receive medical treatment. A search is not on to locate the dog and bring it for a veterinary assessment, and test for rabies.

The Legian Village leadership team has also established communication with local dog lovers and dog feeders, shelter owners, as well as the Badung Regency Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Service to find out the whereabouts of the dog. 

He added, “We have obtained the characteristics of the dog, now we are still investigating its whereabouts. What will be handled later, we will coordinate with related parties.”

Though there is rabies in circulation in Bali, the likelihood of the dog in question being rabies-positive is low. This is because the beach dogs in the Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak areas are routinely vaccinated against rabies.

Even if the dog in question did come from outside the Legian area, a huge operation has been underway by the Bali provincial government throughout the year to vaccinate all known dogs on the island.

However, there have been several local people who have died due to rabies exposure this year, including a five-year-old girl. 

Martini added, “Every dog that has been vaccinated is given a collar tag so that the Legian Beach Task Force can also identify and monitor dogs on the beach.”

This is a key sign for tourists that the dog is known to the community and authorities and is vaccinated.

“We are doing this as an effort to prevent rabies cases in Legian. Unfortunately, because the Legian area is quite large, especially as the Legian Beach area is a public area, it is very difficult to monitor dogs coming from outside Legian.”

Nevertheless, communal efforts have been underway for years to best manage the beach and start dog populations in the resort towns.

Martini concluded, “This case of dog bites actually no longer existed [until Monday], due to the efforts we have made together. But now it suddenly appears again.”


“Frankly, it is difficult for us to monitor dogs that come from outside Legian.” There is concern amongst the community dog carers that this incident may lead to a series of dog poisonings, as has happened in the past.

Dog owners are encouraged to be extra cautious about what scraps of food they allow their dogs to eat while out on walks for the next few days.

According to the World Health Organization, anyone who has been in contact with an animal that is at risk of carrying rabies should adhere to the following guidelines. These guidelines are known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and are divided into three categories. 


Guidelines suggest that with “single or multiple transdermal bites or scratches, contamination of mucous membrane or broken skin with saliva from animal licks, exposures due to direct contact with bats (severe exposure),” the person affected must extensively wash the site with water and soap for at least 15 minutes and apply local treatment of the wound as soon as possible after a suspected exposure. 


This should be followed as quickly as possible with “a course of potent and effective rabies vaccine that meets WHO standards; and the administration of rabies immunoglobulin or monoclonal antibodies into the wound if indicated.”

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Thursday 9th of November 2023

I know the two first dogs in these photos very well. They are very friendly and are very loved and well taken cared of by the staff of cafes and surfboard rentals on the beach. Some of these dogs are owned by the locals who work with the sunbed buisness. These dogs are NOT the problem.

The tourists who are not used to street dogs in their countries tend to interact with all dogs as pets without being able to read a social dogs body language from a dog who needs it's space. And yes, any dog should be allowed to have it's space.

All people need to teach themselves and their children not to talk, look in their eyes or touch, but instead ignore a any animal they don't know. It's OUR responsibility, not the dogs!

Always let the dog make the connection itself and be calm.

But some people don't know about animal boundaries or to be calm and assertive themselves. They frighten the dog and end up getting bitten. They would hardly treat a snake or a big lizzard the same way and yet, it's always the dog that is getting the blame. But when a tourist gets bitten by a monkey THEN the tourist is stupid.

I have the same problem even when walking my dog on a leash. Some think it's ok to let their children run up and "pet" my dog on the head without his or my consent.

These uneducated interactions happens all over the world by people who has no knowledge of street dogs.

In countries with street dogs (and wild animals) we teach our children at a young age not to interact with ANY animal they don't know personally including horse, lizzard, cat, monkey and dog etc. We don't teach them to be frightened of the animals either, but instead to respect them and their nature.

We are so many in Bali who are fighting very hard to help our dogs. Both locals, tourists and expats. It should be remembered that so many dogs got killed in the last rabies outbreak 2008.


It is very important to know that the Balinese Kintamani breed is a very important breed for the whole world. It is far from a useless street dog! It is the national dog breed of the whole of Indonesia. This 12000 year old pure breed is worth A LOT, as it is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and has fantastic genes. When cared for, the Bali Kintamani outweighs ANY of the Western breeds when it comes to health and stamina. It is in all our interests to save and nurture our culture AND the natural role of this dog on our Island. Many people think that the western dog breeds are better and they could not be more wrong. By killing and cross breeding the Kintamani dog it will soon disappear completely and then we have lost a very important part of our culture. Forever.


Friday 3rd of November 2023

RABIES Vacinations are in fact quite hard to locate if bitten by a stray dog in Bali. Not all hospitals or medical clinics have them on hand. If bitten you need 4 shots,day 1,3,7 and 14. These can cost between 650k - 900k per injection. But the big hit is the serum required within 7 days of being bitten. Prophylatics are injected in the site of contact costing around 30-50 million depending on the weight of the patient. Think twice people when u play with stray dogs on the beach, it could end up costing you a lot of money, anguish and of course your life if that dog is infected and you don't take the necessary medical precautions.


Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Typically tourists and expats are the ones sponsoring and actually doing the feeding, vaccinations, and all medical. I know that all beach dogs on Echo beach are fully vaccinated and fed as I am managing that operation and all their records are available at the lifeguard building. As you walk away from the beach into the village dogs typically start to look worse as their feeding and care is not a priority to their owners. The dire problem is actually inland on the way to Ubud. As not many tourists reach those parts of the island, dogs usually are abandoned there and do pose a high threat of disease spread. If local authorities can focus on taking care of those dogs then it would help a lot in maintaining the health level on the island.


Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Bali dogs aren't a pet species - they come from the wild and hang around humans for scraps. This was and still is tolerated because they kill and consume rats and snakes. Beach dogs being fed by business owners and tourists is a bite waiting to happen. Imagine doing this with Dingos in Australia!!

Wayan Bo

Wednesday 1st of November 2023