If you’re planning to head to the beach this summer and take your dog along, be sure to pack fresh water so your pet doesn’t have to drink salt water when it gets thirsty. Dogs should NOT drink saltwater for many reasons, among those being that salt water can cause vomiting and dehydration, as well as an unpleasant condition called “beach diarrhea.”
If you go to a beach that allows pets to run, play fetch, and interact with other dogs, your dog is going to get plenty of exercise which in turn causes increased water loss through muscle contraction, respiration, and evaporation from its skin. Exercising like this on a hot day at the beach will leave your dog with an urge to drink plenty of water and if you don’t provide fresh water, your dog will drink whatever it can find to drink, usually salt water.
Chances are good that a dog will ingest sand along with any salt water it drinks. This can intensify the effects of salt water and irritate the lining of the dog’s intestines. Drinking a smaller amount of salt water can cause “beach diarrhea.” In this type of diarrhea, salt water results in excess amounts of water accumulating in the dog’s intestines.
This is because salt water acts to pull liquids into your dog’s intestines which can then cause diarrhea and lead to dehydration. Also, if your dog drinks a lot of salt water too fast, it may vomit, which then leads to even more dehydration.
Bacteria, algae, microorganisms or toxins are sometimes found in salt water and these can lead to even more severe symptoms for your dog.
When you’re at the beach, give your dog clean, fresh water as often as you can. Giving your dog plenty of fresh water will significantly lessen any chance of it contracting a nasty beach diarrhea. You do not want your dog to drink salt water.
Your day at the beach should be as much fun for your dog as it is for you. Don’t spoil it by not taking along enough fresh water to keep your dog hydrated for your entire stay at the beach.