Water is fun for your dog. Or is it ?

Highlighting the danger of water


We all know that lots of dog's love water, being in water, playing with water, chasing the hose pipe. I know Whispa does.

They love it, and as pet parents sometimes we encourage it, as our dog's are having so much fun. Especially when the weather is hot, we think we are doing the best thing, keeping our dog's cool and hydrated.


Did you know there was such a thing as Water Intoxication

Water intoxication or excessive water consumption in dogs can put your pet in serious, and even life-threatening, danger.

When your dog ingests too much water, it causes a dangerously low sodium level – or to use the technical term, Hyponatremia. Certainly not something to be sniffed at, consuming too much water can be just as dangerous as too little.

Are all dogs susceptible to Water Intoxication ?

It can happen to any dog, depending on the situation. There are no set rules.

Small dogs and puppies can be more at risk.

Lean built dog's actually high risk due to their metabolism and absorbing water quicker into the body.

Water intoxication in dogs is a form of poisoning

The quicker you can identify the signs, the better.

  • anxiety

  • vomiting

  • excessive drooling

  • wobbliness when moving

  • muscle twitches

As the Hyponatremia progresses, the symptoms become much more severe. If you see any of these symptoms occur, consult your veterinarian immediately:

Fresh Water vs Salt Water Intoxication

Especially here in west Cumbria, the beach is a favourite walking place.

Throwing that ball into the sea and watching our dogs go fetch, time and time again.

Another danger for dogs that spend time enjoying the sea or ocean is salt poisoning, also known as HyPERnatremia.

While similar in name to HyPOnatremia (water intoxication), the symptoms of hypernatremia in dogs may be different.

When your dog has salt poisoning, he may develop the following symptoms:

  • Dehydration

  • Vomiting

  • uncontrolled bowel movements

  • fits and convulsions

Consult your vet immediately

Prevention of Water Intoxication in a Dog

  • Limit play time in the water, especially if you’re playing fetch. If you usually throw a ball for your dog to retrieve from the water, consider replacing this with a flat toy. This will decrease the chance of him accidentally swallowing water while grabbing the ball.

  • Always supervise your dog when he's playing with water. Some dogs that bite at the stream from sprinklers just don’t know when to stop.

  • If your dog is prone to over drinking, it’s advisable not to leave him with access to unlimited amounts of water during the day. A bucket of water isn’t necessary. A bowl will do just fine.

  • Keep on top of your dog's health with regular checkups at the vet. Some kidney issues can affect the body’s ability to eliminate fluids.

  • Always have water available. This may be counter-intuitive, but the time that your dog is most likely to over-consume water is when he’s incredibly thirsty. By having a small bowl of water available at all times, you reduce this risk.

    Water intoxication, while uncommon, is a dangerous condition. As a responsible pet parent, it’s up to you to be aware of these potential hidden dangers lurking in plain sight.

    Do your dog a favour and pay attention to his behaviour. By knowing how he acts when at his healthiest, you’ll be able to spot any medical problems much faster. Therefore, you'll be able to treat and overcome potentially devastating medical issues if they arise.

    There are ways to avoid water-related dangers. From throwing flat toys into the water rather than round ones to outfitting your dog with his very own life jacket, it's your responsibility to keep your Fido safe when he's near the water.

    Now we just need the sunshine :)

    Categories: Dog Training