My Dog Drank Salt Water Will He Get Sick?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 04/28/20 •  3 min read
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Don’t you just love taking your dog to the beach and kicking back? The sun, sea and sand are so relaxing! Plus, the beach is a great place to play with your pup! And some dogs love to jump in the water and have a splashing good time!

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Taking your fur baby to the beach is great! However, you need to be careful and watch your dog to make sure he’s not drinking the saltwater.

Saltwater Poisoning in Dogs

Some dogs will not drink salty sea water; however, there are other dogs who don’t care that the water’s salty. It’s something wet and he’s thirsty, so why not just drink what’s right there? The reason to avoid drinking the water, which your fur baby doesn’t understand, is that sea water contains salt.

Or it’s easy to accidentally swallow seawater when you’re frolicking in the sea. Either way, if a dog ingests too much salt, he could develop saltwater poisoning.

Thankfully saltwater poisoning isn’t a common condition, but it can and does happen.

Saltwater Poisoning in Dogs

If a dog drinks too much saltwater, the salt in the water draws hydration from his blood, into the intestines. This causes diarrhea, but may also bring on vomiting and dehydration, too. Your fur baby’s body suffers from a fluid imbalance.

Your fur baby’s cells release water into his system in an effort to balance the sodium. This can lead to kidney problems, seizures, severe hydration and more. If your dog’s condition isn’t treated, it could lead to his death.

We’re sorry to share these details, but they could be important to saving your dog’s life. With all this, you may wonder about going to the beach; however, it’s a great place for you and your fur baby to relax! Just make sure he doesn’t drink too much saltwater.

Hydration is Key

To keep your dog from drinking seawater to slake his thirst, experts advise offering your fur baby a drink of water about 15 minutes or so. This way he’ll stay hydrated and not be tempted to drink the salty water.

Treating Saltwater Poisoning in Dogs

If your fur baby does drink a little bit of seawater, he may develop diarrhea. This is normal and there’s even a name for the condition. It’s often referred to as “beach diarrhea.” This should pass in a day or so. If it doesn’t, or if you notice your dog having symptoms of saltwater poisoning right after visiting the beach, then call the vet immediately.

The vet will work to restore your fur baby’s water and electrolyte balance. They will have to do this slowly, as going too fast could also be dangerous. Your fur baby will more than likely need IV treatment, and may even need to be treated for swelling of the brain, etc. He may need to stay in the hospital for about 2-3 days.

The key for successful treatment is to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. And of course, the best option is if your fur baby doesn’t drink saltwater in the first place. Keep an eye on your dog when you’re at the beach.

Have fun, but make sure to offer him clean drinking water at regular intervals. This will keep him from being tempted to drink saltwater when he’s thirsty. Then just concentrate on having fun at the beach with your pup!

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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