One adorable, exciting splash session in the water can make your dog’s tail wag like nothing else, but it can also result in an expensive trip to the vet, or worse. We love our four-legged friends and want them to have fun swimming this summer, so here are four things to remember for happy tails until the sun goes down.

Remember: Ocean Salt Water Is Toxic

The smell of beach salt water is intoxicating, but if your little friend drinks the salt water, it is truly toxic. him/her could get salt poisoning, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures, depression, brain swelling and even death can occur, according to the Pet Poison Helpline. If a fetch game involves the waves, know that a little salt water is bound to get the mouth — just don’t let him/her lap it up like a big drink of regular water. Make sure you carry fresh water for frequent hydration during swim time and while zipping up and down the sand.

Remember: Lake Algae Can Be Deadly

The ASPCA lists blue-green algae as one of the poisonous summer hazards for pets. describes the dangerous algae as a “pea soup” or blue-green color floating on the surface of the water, which can be blown by wind toward shore. If the lake looks like this, it’s best not to let your pal swim in it. Even just a few mouthfuls can be severe and/or fatal. Make sure the lake is clear, so the coast is clear for dock jumping and more.

Remember: Pool Chemicals Can Make Them Sick

Kids love it when the family dog leaps into the pool with them. However, it’s best to keep your pet out of the pool right after it’s been shock treated to make sure the water treatment products, like chlorine, are diluted appropriately. Also, clear chemical tablets from the pool and surrounding areas to protect your dog from chewing on them and getting severe ulcers or holes in her digestive tract.

Remember: To Wash and Water Them

At the end of each splash session, hose off your pup or give him/her some kind of good, clean-water rinse to remove any residual chlorine, salt water or lake water from the fur. With big-eared dogs especially, make sure to dry their inner ears to prevent ear infections. Offer a big bowl of clean water to clean up the insides one more time.

Extra tip: small amounts of some child sunscreens are safe for dogs, and their exposed ears, noses and bellies (it’s toxic if it contains zinc oxide or if it’s the adult kind in large amounts and they swallow it). Some pet stores also carry dog sunscreen. Just know they might lick it off right away, so remember to reapply.