Can sea water upset a dog’s stomach? Here’s What to Do Next

How to Prevent and Treat Beach Diarrhea

It is very important to recognize that dogs should never be allowed to liberally drink salt water. Drinking salt water in large amounts and very quickly may ultimately cause the dog to vomit it back up, with the devastating effect of making the dog further prone to dehydration, especially if he is romping around a lot under the sun.

The ingestion of sand along with the salt water may further irritate the intestinal tract causing the symptoms to exacerbate. Salt water may also contain microorganisms, toxins, algae, and harmful bacteria.

A common misconception is that in order for a dog to develop beach diarrhea, it must drink salt water. It is often forgotten that dogs may repeatedly ingest small amounts of salt water by grasping that salt-water-drenched tennis ball or by simply getting splashed by the waves when the dogs mouth is open.

What Exactly Is Beach Diarrhea?

Beach diarrhea is quite different from the average diarrhea your dog gets from eating something he should not have. Typically, dog owners report beach diarrhea to be a very liquid, projectile diarrhea that seems to just shoot out of the dogs rear end. This form of diarrhea happens quickly and is caused by the salt water pulling fluids from the intestinal tissues (osmotic effect). It can be diagnosed based on the history of the dog being at the beach and can be confirmed by having the dog evaluated for hypernatremia (a sudden increase in sodium).

My dog drank saltwater from the ocean!

If your dog just took a little taste (and decided it was pretty gross) you’re probably in the clear. But, it doesn’t take much salt water to cause some stomach upset and diarrhea. So, if you did see your pup take a sip (or three) keep an eye on them and watch for runny stool or diarrhea/vomiting.

If you’re worried, you can always give your vet’s office a call for further instruction. They can provide guidance based on your pup’s size, medical history, and how much water you think your pup might have swallowed.

What to Do If Your Dog Drinks Seawater | Wag!

Drinking salt water can cause upset stomach and is very irritating. If your dog drinks a large amount of the water this can lead to electrolyte imbalances, essentially salt toxicity. Salt toxicity symptoms can include: vomiting, diarrhea, trouble walking, muscle tremors, and seizures.