Water Intoxication

We all know that dehydration can be fatal to our dogs, but did you know that too much water intake is equally dangerous? Most dog owners will take their pets to outdoor pools, lakes, riversides etc when the weather is hot, however, most people are also unaware of the underlying dangers.

What is water intoxication?

Consuming excess water in dogs in a short period of time can lead to hyponatremia, a condition marked by drastically low levels of sodium in the blood. This causes the cells to take on more water and swell, leading to potentially-fatal brain damage. Drinking too much water is a dangerous thing for humans also. This condition does not happen as frequently as dehydration, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen, the best advice is to make yourself aware of potential dangers and spot the signs early!

Symptoms of water intoxication in dogs

If your dog has been diving, retrieving, and playing in the water, there is a possibility that he may already have ingested too much water.

Watch out for these signs and symptoms:-

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Loss of coordination
  • Restlessness
  • Pale gums
  • Drooling excessively
  • Dilated pupils

In more serious cases, the dog may have:-

  • Breathing problems
  • Develop seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

If you do spot any of the above symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

Prevention of Water Intoxication in Dogs:-

  • Limit play time – limit your dog’s play time in the water. Take frequent breaks to allow your dog to pee in order to get rid of the extra water in the body
  • Monitor your dog
  • Use a Flat object – if your dog loves to retrieve toys from water, use a flat type of toy or stick instead of a round toy like a ball, as the dog has to open his mouth wider to hold on to a round object than a flat one