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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

Dog Day at the Beach? Beware of Seawater Poisoning.

What could be more fun than a day at the beach with your pooch? Just don’t let your dog drink seawater. Read our blog to find out why.

A summer day at the beach with the sea breeze blowing, sounds like fun for you and pooch alike. A hazard lurks at the seashore though if you let your dog drink seawater. If your furry pal drinks huge amounts of seawater it can lead to health problems. Ingestion of seawater can cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, loss of appetite and, in severe cases, seizures.

Drinking a lot of seawater is dangerous for dogs, because the high levels of salt in the seawater can disrupt the fluid balance in your dog's body, drawing water from the blood into their intestines. If left untreated health consequences can ensue including serious kidney and brain damage, and even death.

According to Sean McCormack, head vet at, pet owners should keep a watchful eye on their pooches as they bound into the waves. He warns “Seawater contains a high balance of salt. If your dog drinks too much, it can quickly become dehydrated and symptoms can worsen if your dog isn’t provided with fresh drinking water.” Even if you are watching closely it's hard to tell if your dog has ingested water while splashing around and playing fetch.

Dog’s signs of seawater poisoning:

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Lethargy

  • Lack of appetite

  • Increased heart rate

  • Loss of coordination

  • Tremors

  • Excessive thirst or urination

  • Seizures

If you see any of these signs in your dog, get veterinary care right away. Left untreated it could lead to serious kidney damage, brain damage and rapid dehydration, which could prove fatal.

If your dog has been drinking sea water take the following precautions:

  1. Take your dog home and closely monitor him. If he shows any symptoms of seawater poisoning, take him to the vet to be observed. If your dog has a high sodium level in his blood your vet will take measures to reduce it.

  2. When you take your dog back home, provide a calm, relaxing environment for him. This is crucial to his recovery. Take his belongings into a quiet room that can be easily cleaned because he may have vomiting or diarrhea problems.

  3. Give your dog small amounts of water every 30 minutes to help them replace fluids.

Dogs will drink anything if they are thirsty. Take water for your dog when heading to the beach and their water bowl or a portable water dispenser like this one.

Mr. Pen- Dog Water Bottle, 19oz, Blue, Dog Water Bowl Dispenser

Follow this rule of thumb by making your pooch take a break out of the water every 15 minutes. Provide fresh drinking water during the break. If your dog won’t drink, squirt or pour water directly in their mouth. Limit your beach time to 2 hours to avoid too much sea water ingestion.

If you keep an eye on your dog while at the beach, follow these precautions and keep him hydrated. You and your pooch should have a safe and fun day by the sea.



Thousand Hills Pet Resort and all its proceeds go to our affiliated non-profit New Life K9s.

A dedicated organization that provides service dogs to veterans and first responders living with PTSD at no cost to the recipient. In addition, the New Life K9s prison rehabilitation program educates and trains incarcerated men to become dog handlers and puppy raisers for potential service dogs entering the program. If you wish to learn more about our mission and ways to help visit

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