During this weather, who hasn't fantasised about a day spent at the beach with their four legged friend? There's something scary you need to remember, though, to make sure you're looking after them on those long trips to the sea side - water. Dogs love water and will literally spend hours playing in the waves, some breeds were developed specifically to work best in water, but you shouldn't ever forget to make sure they're also drinking enough regular water. Dogs will happily drink sea water all day, but they really shouldn't and actually salt poisoning can lead to serious dehydration and even death if owners aren't careful.
Chris Taylor took his dog, O.G. to a special Florida dog beach so they could swim and play together - one of O.G.'s favourite activities. They spent the whole day there before heading home where Chris noticed that O.G. was wobbly and unstable on his feet, and had bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. Chris thought he might have just been exhausted after a long day, so left him to sleep it off overnight and he was slightly better the next day, but still a little lethargic. Thinking O.G. was back to his usual self, Chris happily made sure he had a little food and water before the dog took a turn for the worst and he refused to take any liquids, presenting dazed and unresponsive. Chris realised something was very wrong and rushed his best friend to the emergency vets.
It was too late, though. The vet told Chris that O.G. had drank too much saltwater and was slowly dying from salt poisoning, he had been fatally dehydrated for so long that his brain had swollen and been irreversibly damaged: "He was convulsing, and I asked if he was in pain, she (the vet) said 'I don't even think he knows where he is'." Chris had to take the decision to put O.G. down, and went to the press about his story so other dog owners wouldn't make the same mistake he did. He had no idea salt poisoning could affect dogs in the way it did O.G. and vets emphasise that many dog owners aren't aware of how serious the illness can be. Symptoms can come on gradually and include vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, lethargy, walking drunk and excessive thirst or urination. It's advised that trips to the beach are limited to two hours, with breaks every 30 minutes and plenty of fresh water to drink. If salt poisoning is suspected, dog owners should act promptly.