Can Dogs Get Saltwater Poisoning?

Saltwater Poisoning in Dogs

If you are like me, you love to bring your Dog with you everywhere they are allowed. Our favorite outdoor activities are hiking and swimming at the beach.

Can dogs get Saltwater Poisoning? Dogs can get Saltwater Poisoning when they consume too much salt; the salt from the water will cause your dog to experience diarrhea and/or vomiting and if a toxic amount is ingested, it could be fatal.

How Do Dogs Get Saltwater Poisoning?

Even though we all know that Saltwater tastes bad, when thirsty, Dogs may drink ocean water. Dogs do not know that saltwater is not the same as fresh water, they just know they are thirsty.

When a dog injests too much salt from the saltwater, the salt slowly dehydrates the Dogs body and organs. Consuming small amounts can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and sever dehydration. Dogs that consume large amounts of salt can cause brain damage and can also be fatal. Per the American Kennel Club, “Dogs with toxic levels of sodium in their systems have a mortality rate higher than 50 percent, regardless of treatment.”

How Do I Avoid Saltwater Poisoning?

The best way to avoid Saltwater Poisoning is to leave your Dog at home while you enjoy the Saltwater. If you are keen on bring your Dog along on your Saltwater excursion, then try to limit your Dogs exposure to the Saltwater. If your Dog is with you, try to keep your beach fun days to a two hour maximum. Be sure to find a nice shaded spot and keep fresh drinking water close by.

Keep in mind that any Salt consumed, whether from Saltwater or from human table food, the effects are the same in your Dog. To learn more about harmful table foods, see the article, What Table Foods Are Bad For Dogs?

What Are The Symptoms of Saltwater Poisoning?

If you have been to the beach and your Dog has diarrhea and/or vomiting, then changes are your Dog is experiencing the beginning signs of Saltwater Poisoning.

Severe Saltwater Symptoms may include:

  • becoming very lethargic
  • walking as if they are drunk or intoxicated
  • is thirsty all of the time and can never get enough water
  • is retaining fluid or showing swelling in parts of their body
  • is having seizures or tremors

What is the Treatment for Saltwater Poisoning?

If you are concerned your Dog ingested Saltwater and want to avoid Saltwater Poisoning, then give your Dog an abundance of fresh drinking water. Make sure to keep a close eye on your Dog and look for early symptoms of Saltwater Poisoning.

If you know your Dog consumed Saltwater and do not want to take any chances, then take your Dog to your local Veterinarian immediately or contact the Pet Poison Hotline or the the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA).

The Veterinarian will treat your dog for dehydration by administrating IV fluids, monitoring their electrolyte count, and checking for brain swelling.

Dogs love to play fetch, especially while swimming at the beach. Our Black lab loves to bite the water coming out of the hose and waves mimicking this action, making for a fun time biting wave after wave. Just be sure to keep an eye on your Dog to be sure they are not consuming too much saltwater because Saltwater Poisoning is no joke.

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*This article is for information purposes only and any health concerns should be discussed with your veterinarian.


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