Do I need to wash my dog after the beach or not?

Our team is formed for veterinarians, ethologists, and animal health content experts.

Do dogs like the ocean? When you go to the beach with your dog, one of the things you see he doing first is to dive into the sea water, but is it good for your dog to bathe in salt water? It depends. Swimming helps him spend his energy, as does playing, enjoying, and having fun with freedom. It's a great sport for him, but it can also be harmful if he does it without proper control.

Seawater is harmful to your dog's skin and also to his gastric system. With this we do not want to tell you not to take your dog to the beach, only for you to be sure to wash him with plenty of fresh water when he leaves the ocean and that he does not drink water from it. Dogs do not distinguish that what they are ingesting carries so much sodium, for that they need your help.

How to stop a dog from drinking salt water?

If your dog is thirsty he will drink everything he finds, and that's where the problems begin. Salt consumption can cause mild to severe poisoning, vomiting, dizziness, kidney damage, and can even put him in a coma. So, if he wants to swim, be vigilant. The moment you have to be more attentive is when he comes out and when he enters the water; it is then when he stops to lick on the shore in case he’s thirsty. Prevent him from doing so and offer him fresh drinkable water.

But what do you have to do if he already has swallowed sea water? The first thing is to remove him from the water without being rude, look for a shaded area and be especially affectionate with him. A calm tone of voice will reassure him. If you are not sure if he has drunk it or not, you will know it because he will vomit and will be dizzy if he has swallowed a lot of salt water. The salt will make him vomit and feel disoriented; adopt a calm attitude so he does not get nervous.

How to treat salt water poisoning in dogs?

Whenever we go with a dog to the beach we have to carry a bottle of water for such cases. We need him to drink and rehydrate in case he vomits. After these first aids, you must contact as soon as possible with one of our veterinarians, who will perform an examination to determine if there has been poisoning. It is normal medications to cut diarrhea and vomiting to be prescribed and also a healthy diet especially indicated for these cases.

As for his skin, the sea water drags salt crystals that can get stuck causing much irritation. Fortunately, the solution is simpler than if he ingests it; giving him a good shower will dissolve them without problems.

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So to the question 'is it good for dogs to bathe in the sea?' we answer yes because it helps them to exercise, but always with supervision, washing them afterward, and making sure you take water with you so they can recover their strength in case they vomit. Another factor that you have to pay attention to is their pads, which should not burn, and also apply sunscreen on them.