What Happens If a Dog Drinks Seawater?

What Happens If a Dog Drinks Seawater?

Author WDF Staff


Summer is here; for most of us, that is our favorite season. During summer, most dog owners will take their dogs to the sea to cool them down and bear the heat easier. If you take your dog to the beach, you and your dog could have a lot of fun. But there can be some dangers that you need to watch out for. Many dogs have a tendency to drink salt water. Initially, you could think there is nothing wrong with such behavior, while drinking salt water can pose a real danger to your dog. In this article, you will find out what happens if a dog drinks seawater.

Can dogs drink salt water?

Many dog breeds love water and all the fun games that come with it. They can swim, chase waves or play a game of fetch. If your dog is physically active on the beach, he will undoubtedly get thirsty. In this case, your dog could reach out and start drinking salt water.

In small amounts, this shouldn't be too dangerous, and your dog could end up with diarrhea, but the real problem will arise if your dog drinks a more significant amount because, in this case, drinking can be fatal.

rhodesian-ridgeback-drinks seawater

Seawater is full of salt; as you may think, salt is bad for dogs. When the dog drinks seawater, its body will try to make a balance. Their cells will release water from their body to balance high salt levels, where many symptoms and problems can arise. Your dog could start to feel dizzy, confused, and even lethargic.

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Salt water poisoning in dogs

Ingesting a lot of seawater can cause saltwater poisoning in dogs, and if you suspect your dog has drunk a lot of seawater, the best you can do is to get to the nearest vet clinic. For these health issues, there is no specific treatment; your vet will have to restore water and electrolyte balance for your dog. Your vet can also give IV fluids to your dog to remove salt from your dog's system faster.

Usually, your vet will require that you leave your dog for monitoring, and in general, most dogs will recover within two to three days from poisoning.

Symptoms of saltwater poisoning

If you suspect your dog has ingested seawater, you must be on the lookout and watch for any symptoms. If you catch early symptoms, you can faster help your dog. So when you are on the beach, closely monitor your dog for any signs of these symptoms:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures

dog running in sea

If you notice any of these symptoms while on the beach, they could indicate that your dog has a saltwater poisoning, and you should be in a hurry to get to the nearest clinic.

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How to prevent poisoning

When going to the seaside with your dog, you will always have to have a large amount of fresh water for your dog. To prevent saltwater poisoning, the best thing you can do is to closely monitor your dog and not allow him to drink seawater. Constantly offer your dog fresh water to avoid dehydration. When you provide your dog with fresh water every 15-30 minutes, you can be sure that your dog will be hydrated. If your dog is not thirsty, there is less possibility that your dog will ingest salt water.

RELATED: How Long Can a Dog Stay on the Beach


Although going to the beach can be a lot of fun for you and your dog, there are also some health concerns. You should never allow your dog to drink saltwater since it could lead to saltwater poisoning. This is a serious health problem, and if you suspect your dog has ingested a large amount of seawater, you should take your dog to the nearest vet clinic as soon as possible.

World Dog Finder team

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