August is my adoptiversary. Ever year in celebration, I take my dog to Redondo Beach, where plenty of dog lovers bask in the ocean breeze, play fetch, and watch as their dogs consume a bit too much sea water. But is sea water bad for dogs? And if so, why do plenty of dog owners allow it?
Signs of Salt Water Poisoning
Sea water is bad. Very bad actually. Ingesting too much can cause salt water poisoning for a dog. For most dogs, ingesting just a few gulps of sea water won’t cause any harm. For others, even just a few mouthfuls can lead to the following symptoms:
What’s worse, dogs who experience symptoms and are not taken to get treated can experience prolonged kidney and brain damage, and worse, death. Most vets who treat sea water poisoning do so by providing a dog electrolytes to stabilize the sodium contents in the body. Typically, treatment can last 2-3 days depending on the severity.
Preventing salt water poisoning is easy, so long as you follow these tips:
- Bring plenty of fresh water for him. Trust us, this one is a no brainer. Bring a few water bottles just for your dog, and keep him well hydrated.
- Take breaks from the water every 15 minutes. Don’t over do it either and spend hours in the ocean. Take a water break — literally.
- Keep plenty of shade around. The sun during the summer months can be exhausting, even for pets, so keep some shade around them.
So how bad is salt water for dogs? Very. And when you do go to the beach, be sure to come prepared, as the last thing you want is to call the vet in an emergency.