Summer is a lot of fun, for four-legged and two-legged playmates alike! However, just as humans need to take precautions when staying out in the sun, you need to take some precautions for the safety of your doggie companion, as well. Today, we will discuss water safefy!
Dogs are Natural Swimmers and Won’t Drown…. Right?
Even though some dogs are natural swimmers (think webbed paws!), even the most seasoned canine swimmer can get into trouble while in the water. With lakes, ponds, boating activities, and swimming pools, there are lots of opportunities for pups to enjoy a dip.
If your dog is a seasoned swimmer AND you are not going out on a boat, a watchful eye is probably all you need around bodies of water. However, if your dog is not a seasoned swimmer OR if you are going on a boat, a dog life jacket is highly recommended. It is extremely easy for your dog to lose his footing on the boot or get tired from swimming. Getting dog life jackets with a handle (or handles, depending on your dog’s size), is an important factor to consider, since they make hauling your pooch out of the water an easy task. Make sure to provide shade and drinking water for your pup, as life jackets can get a little hot to wear!
Keeping a watchful eye on your pup should include watching to see if your dog is drinking any non-potable water. While it is probably impossible to prevent your dog from drinking while swimming, it is a good idea to know if it occurs. Saltwater can cause a dog to vomit or have diarrhea, but this is usually quickly resolved. Contaminated water can have water-borne parasites and infections that will make both you and your dog sick. Provide plenty of clean drinking water for your dog so there is no temptation to drink from the local swimming hole.
In addition to parasites and infections, it is a good idea to make sure the water you plan to boat or swim in is safe from larger predators. Venomous insects, water moccasins, alligators, and other predators like to call bodies of water their home. Sharing it, even for a second, can put your dog in danger.
When at the pool, make sure there is a safe way for your dog to get out of the water when he wants to. Underwater stairs can get very slick, and dogs are typically not able to climb up and out of the pool via a vertical ladder. Products like the Skamper Ramp allow your dog to easily get out of the water on his time table. It can also be used at your dock!
Does your dog like to swim?
View more articles written by Kristen Sydelko.