The Well Dog Place

Dr. Ken Tudor Holistic Veterinarian

Dog playing in the Ocean. Saltwater can be dangerous for dogs.

Basic Dog Care 15 | Protect Your Dog from Saltwater Poisoning

As the weather warms here in southern California, more and more of my patients are enjoying playing at the dog beaches with their pet parents. As you know, we here at The Well Dog Place are all about exercise for dogs. 

Fetch at the beach is one of the best activities because dogs can exercise vigorously without overheating. We wish all dogs could get exercise daily. But there are some hidden dangers with beach play, especially fetch with tennis balls. This kind of play can cause saltwater poisoning of your dog.

The repetitive fetching and returning of the tennis balls or other absorbent fetch toys can result in your dog drinking a lot of saltwater. The excess salt in the intestines pulls water from the body into the intestines causing beach diarrhea. Often the stool will contain mucous and blood. Fortunately, this is a mild self-correcting symptom once salt consumption stops or a maximum of a few days.

But dogs that consume larger amounts of saltwater experience an elevation of sodium in their blood called “hypernatremia”. Excessive sodium in the blood can cause vomiting, dehydration, incoordination, seizures. These dogs require veterinary care.

Here are some simple steps to avoid saltwater poisoning so you can still enjoy every minute with your dog at the beach.

  1. Take a break away from the ocean after every 15 minutes of play
  2. Offer fresh water during these recesses
  3. If your dog is reluctant to drink, use a sports bottle and squirt fresh water into her mouth

Enjoy your time at the beach, just do it keeping these things in mind!

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Basic Dog Care 15 | Protect Your Dog from Saltwater Poisoning

Basic Dog Care

At THE WELL DOG PLACE Whenever you "Refer a Friend" you get $20 off AND they get $20 off their first exam. Call for an appointment:
(909) 929-0778