Nothing is more refreshing or fun than taking a walk near the river with your dog! However, if the day is hot, your dog may want to take a drink from the nearby river. But is it safe for a dog to drink river water?
Has your dog drunk river water? Are you worried the river water will make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog drinks something like this.
In this article, we’ve put together some information about river water and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What’s in River Water?
You’d think that river water would be pretty clean in most areas. Some might even think it’s cleaner than the water in their toilet! However, river water can be filled with all types of nasties!
River water may contain any of the following:
Bacteria: campylobacter, salmonella, E. coli, Leptospira; each of these organisms can cause a horrible infection in dogs, humans, and other animals.
Parasites: giardia, cryptosporidium, coccidia, and more can cause very bad infections in dogs, making them very sick.
Blue-green algae: this is more common in standing water, but it is possible areas along the river may contain stagnant water. In that case, the algae could possibly be found there. Blue-green algae produce a powerful toxin that can make dogs, other animals, and humans very sick.
Snakes & other animals: rivers are also home to other animals, including frogs, snakes, and more. Some of these animals contain toxins that can poison a dog.
Chemicals: rivers may also contain large amounts of toxic chemicals, even in water that looks very clean. The chemicals can include fertilizers, pesticides, and more.
These are all very good reasons why a dog should not be allowed to drink river water. While one lick may not make a dog sick, it is possible even that one lick could be contaminated with parasites or bacteria.
River Water & Dogs
River water that contains chemicals, toxins, algae blooms, or bacteria can make a dog very sick. Symptoms can develop very soon after the dog drinks the water. Or the symptoms may develop over several hours.
Symptoms of River Water Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has drunk river water:
- Breathing difficulties
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, then call the vet immediately. This is an emergency. Your dog needs medical treatment from the vet ASAP.
If you decide to take a walk along the river with your dog, then be sure to carry plenty of water for you both. Carrying water along will ensure your dog is hydrated and not tempted to drink river water!