Summer Safety: Protect Your Dog From These Common Water Hazards

Salty Dogs

Love tossing a bumper into the waves for your dog to retrieve? Just make sure he isn’t taking in a bumper full of salt water along with it. Drinking too much seawater can cause diarrhea, vomiting and the resulting dehydration. It’s not so good for his intestinal lining, either, which can become irritated by sand mixed in with the water. At the beach, be sure to offer your dog fresh water regularly, so he doesn’t try to quench his thirst from the ocean.

What about saltwater swimming pools at home? Their sodium content usually isn’t as high as that of ocean water. A dog who drinks a bit of this water isn’t likely to suffer salt poisoning, but you may notice that he drinks more and urinates more. It’s probably not harmful unless he has heart problems, in which case, it's generally best to limit his exposure to salt.

Pool Pups

If you have a pool, your dog may spend more time in it than you do, especially if he’s a water-loving breed like a Labrador Retriever or Boykin Spaniel. The good news is that the occasional sip from a well-maintained pool is unlikely to cause your dog any stomach upset or other harm.

Of course, your pool shouldn’t be your pooch's main source of water. Keep fresh water available indoors and out to help prevent him from taking in excess amounts of pool-cleaning chemicals or any bacteria or algae that may have taken up residence in the water.

Finally, to prevent skin and ear infections, rinse your dog with fresh water after a swim in any body of water. Treat the ears with a product recommended by your veterinarian, and make sure you dry the ears and skin thoroughly.

Splash away!

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