Posted Jun 7, 2018 in Health & Safety
When you live near a beach or ocean, we tend to take our dogs with us for a beach day pretty regularly. Playing on the beach can be a fun and different way to get our dog exercising and playing. However, our dogs are at risk for drinking saltwater at the beach, which can be dangerous to them. It is important to keep our dogs hydrated with fresh, cool water on the beach to prevent them from drinking the ocean water. Here is why dogs want to drink salt water and how to stop it!
When you’re at the beach for the day, you are probably having lots of fun running around, playing with others, and playing games. When all this is going on, our dogs can get tired. Exercise can cause increased water loss from evaporation through the skin, as well as from muscle contraction. When your dog is losing that water, they will be become thirsty because they need to replace the water. If we don’t have water available for our dogs, they will go the ocean water as a place to drink.
When your dog drinks salt water, it pulls liquid into your dog’s intestines. This tends to cause diarrhea. Your dog can also become sick from drinking a lot quickly, which can cause them to vomit. Both of these things happening can lead to your dog becoming even more dehydrated than they already are. Sand, which can be found in the salt water, can also cause issues for out furry friends. The sand can irritate the lining of their intestines, cause them to feel even more sick. There also could be organisms in the water that may make your dog sick later on.
If your furry friend drinks a lot of salt water, the first thing you’ll notice is either vomiting or diarrhea. This “beach diarrhea” is from the excessive amount of water in your dog’s intestines. This diarrhea will be specifically more of a liquid consistency, frequent, straining on your dog, and may contain blood/mucous. If you notice this, make sure you’re getting your dog fresh cool water immediately. If they’re vomiting, make sure you slowly rehydrate with 1 teaspoon or tablespoon (depending on the size of your dog) of water an hour.
When our dogs are dehydrated or sick, it can take time to get them to feel better. To avoid this, it is key to not let it get to this point. We want to be proactive in preventing our dogs from drinking salt water. One way to do this is to always have fresh and clean water while at the beach. When you head to the beach make sure you have a collapsible bowl or water bottle that your dog can drink out of easily. Be sure you have a cooler to keep the water cold and fresh. You should also be sure you’re taking breaks from exercise to avoid your pup getting dehydrated. Take them into the shade for rest and water.
Your trip to the beach will be much more enjoyable if your dog is healthy and hydrated. As long as you plan ahead, your dog should stay happy on the beach!
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