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Saltwater Poisoning in Dogs: How to Keep Your Pet Safe

Cane Bay Summerville - Saltwater Poisoning in DogsAugust is arguably one of the hottest summer months. With such heat, it can be tempting to bring our dogs along to the beach with us and let them splash around in the ocean for hours.

However, doing so can have devastating consequences. After one Florida man lost his dog to saltwater poisoning, he and other veterinarians have been using the tragedy to warn other beach-goers about the dangers of saltwater poisoning.

Can Dogs Get Saltwater Poisoning?

Yes. Dogs that drink too much sodium at one time can fall victim to it. When dogs are swimming in an ocean, they naturally ingest saltwater. Even toys for fetch, like a tennis ball, can easily absorb saltwater and further add salt to your dog’s body when he clamps down on the toy.

According to WagWalking, if your pet ingests too much saltwater in a short amount of time, your pup’s body cells will begin to release water in order to dilute the amount of salt in the body and bloodstream. If the water is not replenished, neurological symptoms can occur due to a lack of water, including dizziness, headaches or seizures. At worst, saltwater poisoning can lead to death.

What are the Signs of Saltwater Poisoning?

An early sign that your dog may have gotten a little too much saltwater at the beach is diarrhea. Other symptoms may include:

  • Convulsions
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Incoordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Vomiting

How Can You Help Prevent Saltwater Poisoning?

Veterinarians recommend spending no more than two hours at the beach. Any more time than that can be dangerous to your pet’s health.

In addition, take frequent breaks, and every 15 to 30 minutes, give your pup fresh water to stay hydrated, which will also help dilute any saltwater in his system he may have ingested. If your dog is uninterested in drinking water to replenish, try grabbing a sports water bottle that you can squeeze, and gently squirt fresh water into his mouth.

Don’t forget about the shade, and keep a constant eye on your furry friend. If you notice him gulping up the ocean water, it’s time to leave the beach. Though this article is predominantly about seawater, also be sure to keep an eye on your pup at pools. Pool water contains other chemicals that can cause health problems if ingested in large quantities.

What if You Suspect Your Dog has Saltwater Poisoning?

If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, take him to the veterinarian immediately. Oftentimes, the symptoms can come on gradually, and by the time you notice a severe breakdown in your pet’s functioning, it may already be too late.

If taken to the veterinarian on time, some dogs may end up in the hospital to be treated with IV fluids, electrolytes and oxygen before making a full recovery. There is hope for pets with saltwater poisoning, but early treatment is key.

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoyed our article and were able to learn more about the dangers of saltwater poisoning. Feel free to share this article to help keep pets safe this summer.

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