Skip to Content

Why is My Dog Acting Weird After Swimming? (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

dog acts weird after swimmingDo you ever notice your dog acting weird after swimming? From swallowing too much water to exhaustion, there are a variety of reasons why your pup might be feeling off. If their behavior has been concerning you lately, it could be worth considering what’s causing this odd post-swim conduct.

This article will discuss the potential causes and treatments for any strange behaviors that appear in your pooch after they take a dip in the lake or pool.

Key Takeaways

  • Monitor water quality to prevent contamination risks.
  • Limit swim time and take breaks to prevent overexertion.
  • Be aware of the signs of water intoxication and take measures to prevent it.
  • Rinse off chlorine and consult a vet if your dog acts strangely after swimming.

Weird Behavior After Swimming

Weird Behavior After Swimming
Swimming can be a great activity for dogs, but it can also have risks. If your pup is exhibiting weird behavior after swimming, it could be caused by swallowing water or chlorine, coming into contact with blue-green algae or parasites/bacteria in the water, an ear infection due to trapped moisture in their ears, or simply exhaustion from spending too much time splashing around.

It’s important to pay close attention and seek veterinary advice if you’re concerned about any of these issues.

Swallowing Water

Swallowing too much water can cause serious health issues in your pet, such as water intoxication, which can lead to brain damage or heart failure. For example, after a particularly long swim on a hot day last summer, Fido started exhibiting symptoms of lethargy and vomiting white foam due to his excessive intake of pool water.

To avoid this, it’s important to be aware of the following:

  • Lakes may contain bacteria from feces contamination, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and appetite loss weeks later.
  • Blue-green algae in lakes can cause liver and respiratory failure if not treated quickly.
  • Swimmer’s ear is caused by trapped water, resulting in infection with head shaking and scratching.
  • Saltwater toxicity happens when drinking too much, causing seizures and kidney damage.
  • Monitor for dry drowning if any inhalation of chlorinated swimming pools occurred.

Chlorine Water

Chlorine in the water can cause eye and skin irritation, so it’s important to rinse your pup off after a swim. Pool draining and lake safety are important for UV protection; keep pet lifejackets handy if they’re not strong swimmers.

Regularly test the water quality or avoid swimming altogether during peak algae blooms. Dogs may swallow too much water while playing, leading to saltwater toxicity or even death – watch their intake carefully! If inhaling large amounts of pool water, monitor for dry drowning symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.

Swimmer’s ear is also possible with trapped moisture in ears causing head shaking and scratching – use drops prescribed by vet for relief from infection and inflammation pain! To prevent any weird behavior after swimming, ensure proper maintenance of pools and lakes and close monitoring of dogs’ activity when near bodies of water.

Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae in lakes can be incredibly dangerous, making it seem like a bottomless abyss of risks for your pup! It causes liver and respiratory failure, which can be fatal if not treated quickly. The ingestion of blue-green algae makes dogs prone to infection and allergies as well.

Ear drops may help with the ear infections that often result from swimming in infected waters, while electrolyte balance should be replenished with diuretics if water intoxication is suspected. Swimming time should always remain limited to prevent exhaustion and other health conditions associated with swimming, such as parasites or bacteria intake.

Parasites or Bacteria

Parasites and bacteria lurking in the water can be a major health risk for your pup, putting them at danger of serious illness.

  • Bladder infection
  • Skin irritation
  • Diarrhea symptoms

Swimming pools might look clean, but they often contain parasites that cause vomiting or upper respiratory infections. After swimming in lakes or rivers, keep an eye out for signs of weird behavior like excessive salivation or coughing as these may indicate contamination from blue-green algae.

Take steps to ensure your dog’s safety with regular pool maintenance and monitoring their activities while near water; it could save their life!

Ear Infection

If your pup is showing signs of head shaking, ear scratching, or discharge after swimming, it could be an ear infection. Symptoms include sweating, a sore tail, and a lot of peeing. Itching in the ears, accompanied by shallow breathing and fever, should also not be ignored.

An untreated ear infection can cause inflammation, which can lead to permanent hearing loss if left unchecked.

Be sure to monitor their behavior after swimming. Any weirdness is likely caused by something other than just exhaustion alone, so take them in for examination ASAP!


Excessive swim time can lead to your pup becoming exhausted, so make sure to keep an eye on them and take breaks if needed. Symptoms of exhaustion include lethargy or lack of energy, low motivation for activities they normally enjoy, shallow breathing, and panting even after leaving the water.

Don’t forget pool safety when swimming with your dog; check chemical levels regularly and follow proper aftercare tips, such as towel-drying their fur thoroughly.

When it comes to swimming hazards like standing water or blue-green algae in lakes that can be dangerous, always research local conditions ahead of time before letting your pet dive in.

Keep these precautions in mind while enjoying some fun splashing with Fido!

Coughing After Swimming

Coughing After Swimming
Coughing after swimming could be a sign of aspiration pneumonia or dry drowning, so keep an eye out for other symptoms and consult your vet if you’re concerned.

  • Dog ears can be prone to infection from bacteria found in lakes. This may cause head shaking and ear scratching.
  • Saltwater toxicity is possible if too much saltwater is ingested while playing or swimming.
  • Dry drowning results when water reaches the lungs due to inhalation during swims.

Lastly, algae poisoning can occur from blue-green algae often present in lakes. It’s potentially fatal without prompt treatment.

Peeing a Lot After Swimming

Peeing a Lot After Swimming
Peeing a lot after swimming could be a sign of water intoxication, so monitor your pup closely and seek vet care if symptoms persist.

It’s important to pay attention to how much liquid they take in while playing in the pool or lake – excessive thirst can lead to leaky bladder syndrome. If this happens, sudden urination is expected and it may indicate low electrolyte levels due to dehydration.

The most common signs are excessive drinking, vomiting white foam followed by collapse and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms include dilated pupils combined with glazed eyes along with nausea and lethargy.

If any of these appear after taking a dip, get veterinary help quickly as water intoxication can have serious consequences for their health – even death! Keep an eye on them when they’re around large quantities of liquid; better safe than sorry!

Bloating After Swimming

Bloating After Swimming
Bloating after swimming can be a sign of water intoxication, so keep an eye out for your pup’s belly expanding. If you suspect your dog may have swallowed too much water while playing or swimming in lakes and pools, look out for symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, and dilated pupils.

Bacteria found in standing or flowing waters can also cause bloating. This could include parasites from feces contamination that are commonly present in lake environments or blue-green algae, which is known to cause liver failure if not treated quickly enough.

Dry drowning is also a risk. Coughing after swimming could indicate aspiration pneumonia or dry drowning, requiring vet attention immediately before it leads to more serious consequences. To prevent these issues, avoid eating or drinking before entering the pool and limit swim time so your pup doesn’t take on too much water at once! Monitor closely post-swim.

Ear drops may help with any infections caused by trapped fluid, while treating underlying causes like bacterial infection will require medical intervention as soon as possible.

Sore Tail

Sore Tail
Sore tails can be a common issue for dogs after swimming. Symptoms include shaking of the tail, hot spots, sore muscles, and fur discoloration. Muscle cramps can also occur due to overexertion while swimming or playing in water.

To prevent these issues from occurring, it’s important to monitor your dog’s activity level during playtime and keep swim time short if necessary. There may be other underlying health conditions that could cause some of these symptoms, and it’s always best to have any worrisome signs checked out by a vet as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan tailored specifically for your pup’s needs.

Here are four helpful tips you can use when dealing with sore tails:

  1. Keep an eye on their intensity level so they don’t overdo it.
  2. Give them lots of breaks between activities.
  3. Make sure they get plenty of rest afterwards.
  4. If needed, apply warm compresses or olive oil topically onto affected areas twice daily until healed up completely.

Taking care not only prevents further injury but also helps ensure your pup stays healthy all year round!

Salt Water Toxicity

Salt Water Toxicity
Consuming too much saltwater can lead to serious health risks for your pup, such as water intoxication and even potential liver or respiratory failure. To ensure swim safety, monitor the quality of water they are swimming in and their salt intake.

If you’re at the beach or a lake with high salinity levels, consider limiting how long your dog is able to swim so that it doesn’t ingest too much saltwater.

Keep an eye on their hydration status. If they are panting heavily after swimming, make sure they have plenty of fresh drinking water available afterwards.

Taking these simple precautions will help keep your pooch safe while out enjoying a summer day by the pool or lake!

What to Do if Your Dog is Acting Weird After Swimming

What to Do if Your Dog is Acting Weird After Swimming
If your dog has been swimming and is now behaving oddly, it’s important to consider the possibility of vomiting or diarrhea, fatigue, or lethargy. These could be signs of serious health issues such as water intoxication, bacterial infections from standing water sources like lakes and ponds, ear infections due to trapped moisture in the ear canal after swimming, or even aspiration pneumonia/dry drowning caused by breathing in too much water during swims.

Vomiting or Diarrhea

Vomiting or diarrhea after a swim may indicate serious issues, so it’s important to take your pup to the vet immediately. Quality of water and cleanliness habits are key for preventing these risks. Put paw care first as contaminated water can lead to infections that cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Proper hydration is also essential before and during swimming – too little or too much can be dangerous! Pay attention for any changes in behavior after a swim; pay extra attention if the water was questionable on quality.

Being aware of potential hazards while swimming will help you recognize risk identification quickly, ensuring your furry friend stays safe overall!

Fatigue or Lethargy

If your pup is suddenly exhausted or lethargic after a swim, it could be from fatigue. Allow them to rest and monitor for other signs that may appear, like swelling, muscle cramps, appetite loss, or rapid breathing.

If any of these symptoms persist, seek veterinary care right away as they can indicate more serious conditions.

In addition to rest, you should also limit the amount of time swimming in order to prevent further exhaustion or illness in the future. Monitor closely for several hours after swimming, and if there are no improvements, contact your vet immediately as treatment may be needed before complications arise.

Symptoms and Treatment of Water Intoxication

Symptoms and Treatment of Water Intoxication
Excessive water consumption can lead to dangerous electrolyte imbalances, potentially causing seizures and even death; if this is suspected, seek vet attention right away.

Symptoms of water intoxication include:

  • Swollen tongue
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lethargy or nausea
  • Vomiting or excessive salivation.

If left untreated, it can cause brain damage and heart failure.

Treatment consists of replenishing the dog’s electrolytes with intravenous fluids and sometimes diuretics.

To prevent water intoxication in your pet, be sure to only allow them access to clean bodies of fresh drinking water while swimming.

Periodically offer small amounts throughout the day but not large quantities at once as this may still put your pup at risk for developing symptoms related to overconsumption.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should a vet be consulted if my dog is acting weird after swimming?

If your dog is acting weird after swimming, consult a vet immediately. Symptoms such as vomiting, coughing, lethargy, or difficulty breathing can indicate serious health risks and should not be ignored.

How can I prevent my dog from becoming water intoxicated?

Avoid water intoxication by monitoring your dog’s intake of water, limiting swim time, and keeping their mouth closed while swimming. Don’t let them drink from standing or pool water to prevent bacteria or parasite ingestion.

What are the signs and symptoms of salt water toxicity in dogs?

Saltwater toxicity can be fatal for dogs, but with prompt treatment, it doesn’t have to be. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and kidney damage – all of which can lead to death if not treated quickly.

What is the difference between dry drowning and water intoxication?

Dry drowning occurs when water is inhaled and causes difficulty breathing, while water intoxication happens when a dog ingests too much. Symptoms of both include vomiting, lethargy, and bloating, but dry drowning can also lead to coughing or wheezing.

If your dog exhibits any symptoms after swimming, seek veterinary attention immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

What preventive strategies should I use to keep my dog safe while swimming?

Prevent your pup from potential swimming risks by avoiding standing water, limiting swim time, not eating or drinking before swimming, and monitoring their behavior afterwards. Keep an eye out for any symptoms of infection or water intoxication and seek vet care immediately if needed.


From swimming in lakes to pools, it’s no wonder our four-legged friends can act like they’re possessed after a dip in the water. With the potential for bacteria, parasites, algae, and other hazards, understanding the risks of swimming can help us keep our canine companions safe.

After swimming, watch for weird behavior like vomiting, bloating, coughing, peeing a lot, and a sore tail. If you suspect water intoxication, seek emergency medical care immediately, as it can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

Keep an eye on your pup after swimming, and if they’re exhibiting any unusual behavior, it’s best to check in with your vet. With a little precaution and vigilance, you can ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy after a swim.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.