Saltwater Poisoning in Dogs

The beach is a paradise for dogs who love running, swimming, fetching and hanging out with their best buddies. But frolicking seaside makes a pooch thirsty, and he might decide to rehydrate by guzzling saltwater. Because your beloved pet has no clue that swallowing ocean water is hazardous to his health, you’ll have to protect him from himself.

Drinking a Little

Dogs may swallow small amounts of saltwater while swimming in the sea and while mouthing saltwater-soaked toys. Small quantities of saltwater can dehydrate your dog and give him an unpleasant condition known as beach diarrhea. His stools will turn frequent and liquid, and may contain mucus or blood. The poor thing will suffer a sense of urgency but strain when he tries to poop.

Drinking a Lot

Consuming too much ocean water causes severe salt poisoning, or hypernatremia, which can spell disaster for your dog. Rapid onset of diarrhea and vomiting is followed by neurologic symptoms such as depression, seizures, unsteady gait and stumbling. Salt poisoning results in severe, dangerous swelling of the brain, which requires immediate emergency IV treatment.

Heading Off Trouble

Bring fresh water and a bowl with you to the beach. Encourage your dog to take a break in a shady spot and offer him a cool drink every 15 minutes. This prevents dehydration, which should discourage him from thinking he needs to drink ocean water.

By Axl J. Amistaadt

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References:
Pet Poison Helpline: Summer Pet Poisons -- Salt Water Toxicity
Vet Info: The Side Effects of Dogs Drinking Salt Water
Web Vet: Dogs and Water Safety
Know Pickens: Water Safety for Dogs
Santa Clarita Valley Signal: The Dangers of Saltwater to Pets
Dog Food Advisor: Water … the Most Neglected of All Canine Nutrients
Cesar’s Way: Dog Nutrition: A to Z
Anderson Humane: Quick Tips

About the Author
A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.