What harm could come from spending a day at the beach with your canine buddy? You've bought them booties to protect their feet from the hot sand and you always bring a portable water container for them to drink out of, so you've got all your safety bases covered, right? Wrong. Read on for 3 weird things that could go wrong for your dog at the beach and how to prevent them from happening.

Sand Impaction

When your dog is trotting on the sandy beach floor investigating new smells, or when he or she uses their mouth to pick up a stick or ball from the sand, they sometimes swallow sand particles. If your pup is especially rowdy, they may swallow enough sand to do their body some serious damage.

Ingested sand mixes with fluids in your dog's system and becomes wet and very heavy. It sinks to the bottom of your dog's intestines and inhibits the normal movement of the intestines. As a result, your pup will have extreme difficulty performing bowel movements. In an attempt to get the sand out of its body, your dog will begin vomiting. Vomiting leads to dehydration and a very uncomfortable, very unhappy dog.

If left untreated, sand impaction can be fatal; get your dog to an animal hospital immediately if you notice any signs of intestinal obstruction after visiting the beach. The veterinarian will likely administer intravenous fluids to re-hydrate your dog and give them a synthetic sugar substance to help loosen the sand so it can make its way through the intestines. Since passing sand is an extremely unpleasant experience, your vet may also offer some pain medications to make the task a bit easier.

If your dog has a severe intestinal blockage, surgery may be necessary to remove the sand.

To prevent this problem from happening, take it easy on fetching games that require your dog to have mouth-to-ground contact while at the beach and watch them closely so you can distract them whenever they get carried away with digging or bounding in the sand.

Salt Toxicity

A small amount of salt is good for your dog -- it helps regulate its blood pressure and transmit nerve impulses from its body to its brain. If your dog ingests too much salt, though, a crucial electrolyte balance is broken and your pup will experience symptoms ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to excessive thirst, confusion, seizures, and coma.

The condition is known as hypernatremia, or salt toxicity, and it can happen to your dog if he or she swallows too much salt water while swimming or playing in the waves at the beach. 

Prevent salt toxicity from happening to your furry friend by making them take frequent breaks from swimming so their head doesn't get tired and droop in the water and make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink during those breaks.

If you notice any symptoms of salt toxicity in your dog after returning home from the beach, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your dog will need to be monitored closely at a pet hospital while its electrolyte levels are restored to normal with fluid therapy.

Broken Wag

This unusual condition occurs when a dog swims in water that is excessively warm or excessively cold, or when it overexerts itself by swimming for too long at a time. If your dog gets broken wag syndrome, you'll notice that their tail sticks out about 3 inches from their behind before falling flat and limp. The condition is painful, so your dog likely won't let you touch its tail and it won't wag its tail as usual, even when excited. 

If you suspect your dog has broken wag syndrome after visiting the beach, contact your animal doctor. The veterinarian will administer a round of anti-inflammatory medication and your dog should be pain free and wagging its tail again in just a few days.

To protect your dog from broken wag syndrome, don't let them swim in water that is too cold. If it's too cold for you to hop in, it's too cold for your dog, too. Also, make sure your dog stops and rests on shore frequently while swimming.

Burned feet and dehydration are serious risks while visiting the beach with your dog, but they aren't the only risks. Make yourself aware of the above 3 weird things that could go wrong for your dog at the beach and take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening.