ST. PETERSBURG, Fla - Would you still bring your dog to the beach if you knew it was dangerous?
We're not talking about sharks or jellyfish. There's something more sinister you need to be careful of when bringing your dog to the beach for the day.
On Friday, a dog's owner confirmed to 10News a recent report of his canine dying from saltwater poisoning in the Tampa area. And, the story may have some dog owners swearing off Honeymoon Island Dog Beach and other canine-friendly areas on the shore.
But what is saltwater poisoning? And, if your dog is a bigger beach bum than you are, how come they've never been poisoned when you've let them frolic in the waves?
According to CBS News, even just small amount of salt of any kind, including the salt in ocean water, can cause excessive thirst and frequent urination. Large amounts of salt leads to sodium poisoning, which can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.
So how do you make sure to keep your pooch safe at the beach? It's all about balance. According to the National Ocean Seawater, the concentration of salt in ocean water is higher than what any animal's cells can process. When humans consume salt as part of our daily diets, we drink liquids to dilute sodium levels. Make sure to bring lots of fresh water for your dog and force them to drink it instead of seawater. Experts recommend giving your dog fresh water every 15 minutes while at the beach.
In addition to just drinking saltwater, your pooch can also ingest it from something as seemingly non-threatening as a soaked fetch toy -- like a wet tennis ball.
In mild cases, ingesting saltwater can cause diarrhea, according to Pet MD. But, if your dog ingests a lot of saltwater, it can lead to vomiting, dehydration, seizures or more serious issues, Pet MD says.
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