Pets, especially dogs, need special care and attention when the heat fires up during the summer. Taking walks on blazing hot sidewalks can burn the pads on their feet, and overheating and dehydration is always a big worry for dog owners as temps rise.

Did you know though that if your dog drinks too much water in can be deadly?!?

I didn't realize that water intoxication is a real danger for dogs, especially those that love to swim and/or drink water from a garden hose or sprinkler, but it is.

Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker tells;

Hyponatremia occurs when more water enters the body than it can process. The presence of so much water dilutes bodily fluids, creating a potentially dangerous shift in electrolyte balance. The excess water depletes sodium levels in extracellular fluid (fluid outside of cells). Sodium maintains blood pressure and nerve and muscle function.

When the sodium concentration in extracellular fluid drops, the cells start filling with water as the body attempts to balance the sodium levels inside the cells with falling levels outside the cells. This inflow of water causes the cells – including those in the brain – to swell. The central nervous system can also be affected.

It all sounds really bad, right? The good thing is, we don't need to keep our water-loving dogs away from their favorite thing in the world, we just need to watch them closely while they enjoy it.

If your dog likes to swim and retrieve things from the water, watch them closely. Do they swim with their mouth open? If so, insist on several breaks from the water. Do they love to drink from a pressurized hose or sprinkler? Limit the frequency that they do it. Do they like to play hard and then lap up a bowl of water at record speed? Allow some time to pass before you refill the bowl again.

The most important thing we can do for our beloved fur babies is watch for signs of water intoxication. Dr, Baker says the condition progresses quickly, so it is imperative to get your dog to the vet immediately if they are showing any of these symptoms after a day of water fun.

  • Loss of coordination
  • Glazed eyes
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her onTwitterInstagram, and Facebook

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5