1. In mild cases (for example, if your pet has had a few mouthfuls of salt water), offer fresh water at frequent intervals.
  2. In the case of suspected overdose, contact your veterinarian.
  3. Your veterinarian may instruct you to induce vomiting, however, do not induce vomiting unless instructed to.
  4. If your pet ate a salt-containing product, bring the product container, label or package insert with you to aid your veterinarian in calculating the dose to which your pet was exposed.




Clinical signs occur within minutes of ingestion.

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Inappetence
  • Hypersalivation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Profound thirst/water seeking
  • Excessive drinking (polydipsia)
  • Excessive urination (polyuria)
  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Increased respiratory rate (tachypnoea)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Stiff and/or painful muscles, muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death


Salt or sodium chloride draws fluid out of cells, resulting in dehydration and electrolyte derangements in the body. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure.


Veterinary care involves monitoring electrolytes and providing fluids judiciously, as further electrolyte imbalances can be fatal.The goal of treatment is to lower the sodium concentration slowly. Rapid correction can be harmful.


BSAVA (2012) BSAVA/VPIS Guide to Common Canine and Feline Poisons. Gloucester: BSAVA.

Campbell A &Champman M (2000) Salt/sodium chloride. In: Handbook of Poisoning in Dogs and Cats. Oxford: Blackwell Science, pp238-241.