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Dr. Wally
Dr. Wally, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  20 years experience in veterinary field.
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I have heard that salt is bad for dogs. In which case, isnt

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I have heard that salt is bad for dogs. In which case, isn't it dangerous for them to swim/retrieve balls in the sea?

Salt is as bad for dogs as it is for humans. A little is fine, too much can cause problems.


Dogs that ingest too much sea water usually have vomiting and perhaps some diarrhea afterwards, but if they are allowed to continue playing and swallowing sea water (and the same goes for regular fresh water, as well) they can cause dangerous and potentially life threatening shifts in their electrolytes.


BotXXXXX XXXXXne, it's great expercise, but the dog should be supervised so they don't overdo it.


By the way...I'm a big fan of Tollers!


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

OK, so if I've got it right: as far as salt is concerned we don't need to be any more wary for our dogs than we should be for our kids? The occasional salty snack wouldn't cause any harm? (I don't give him any anyway!!)


I had always understood that salt is verging on toxic for dogs, like chocolate/cacao or grapes, but not so then?


And as for swimming, a half-hour session of ball fetching shouldn't do him any harm? I have noticed him sometimes have a little diarrhoea after a swimming session but I find he does that when he exercises hard on land anyway.



You've got it. Keep salty treats to a minimum. But they are no more harmful for dogs. of course, the fat in them tends to be more problematic, but that's the case for us humans as well, eh? ; )


If you notice your dog "eating" the splashes (I had a dog that loved to do this) or drinking the water, stop him. As long as he's just taking in a little, salt water is fine.


The diarrhea is probably from the strenuous exercise. If it clears up on it's own, it poses no health threat.


If you ever see excessive urination where the dog cannot "hold it" and has accidents inside the house, drinks excessively (not associated with exercise or a hot day), these may indicate a problem, and a vet visit is in order.


I give your dog my blessing to go be his wacky, Toller self in the waves. I'm sure he enjoys it! And if he's a typical Toller, he's a blast to watch playing out there in the surf.

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