Water Safety Tips For Dogs
Summer temperatures have been heating up the DMV for a few weeks now and with that comes fun in the water. Summer is the perfect time to hit the pool, beach, or lake and many of us take our pups along with us. Below are some do’s and don’ts to make sure your dog enjoys the water and stays safe at the same time.
Teach your dog to swim – don’t force your dog into the water, this can create fear and once they’re scared the odds of overcoming it aren’t good. Introduce them to the water slowly in a shallow area and gradually work up. The earlier they learn how to swim the better they’ll be at it.
Not all breeds are meant to swim – some dogs such as retrievers and poodles are bred to work in the water and are often very easy to teach. On the other hand, bulldogs and other short-snouted breeds were not meant to be in the water. Their large chests make their front end heavy and they struggle to keep their head above water. Be very careful with them around water. There’s always an exception to the rule but, for the most part, only wading is recommended. Neither of our Frenchie’s can swim but, they love to wade!
Don’t let your dog out of your sight – teaching your dog the pool or other bodies are water are off limits unless you’re out with them is important. If you have a pool in your backyard or your home is right on the ocean or lake a fence is recommended to prevent them from going into the water without supervision. Anything can happen quickly when water is involved and always keeping your pet in view is important to make sure they stay safe at all times.
Don’t let your dog drink the water they’re swimming in – pool water contains chemicals and the salt in the ocean water will make your dog sick. There could be bacteria in lakes that causes an upset stomach so they’re off limits too. Have fresh water on hand so that your pup is able to stay hydrated and is less tempted to drink the water they’re playing in.
Rinse your dog off after they swim – the chemicals from the pool and the sand/salt from the ocean will likely irritate their skin. They’re also prone to grooming themselves after being in the water and can then ingest whatever is on their fur.
Encourage your 4 legged friends to take plenty of breaks when playing in the water. Often times they’re having so much fun that they don’t stop to rest. With the right planning and using common sense, you and your pet will enjoy the water together all summer long.