When summer rolls around, it seems as though our dogs love the water just as much as we do (well…some dogs). However, there is always a concern for dog swimming safety and it has us worrying for the whole day. Therefore, we’ve compiled some simple tips to keep your pet safe whether they’re in the pool, lake, beach, or anywhere else!
Never Assume – If you’ve never seen your dog in the water before, you should never just assume they can swim. While some dogs can doggy paddle all day long, others just don’t feel comfortable and they tend to swim to survive rather than have fun. Typically, these will be dogs with small legs and large bodies such as the American Bulldog. Furthermore, remember their vision gets worse in the dark.
Teach Them – Just like humans, dogs needs to learn the basic action of swimming. Although they will generally learn much faster than ourselves, they still need to be comfortable in the water. If you playfully throw them in, this could create a fear for life so try throwing a toy or ball into the water. As they grow more comfortable, you can keep throwing further out.
Reconsider the Beach – If you’re planning to visit the beach, we ask you to at least consider the dangers first. Not only is the sand frustratingly hard to get out of their coat, dogs aren’t aware of broken shells, jellyfish, and how to act around them. With special dog beaches, they can also be havens for various parasites including roundworm eggs. If they want to go out into the water, ensure they cannot be taken by the current.
Nighttime Adventures – Although a boating adventure at night sounds like fun, you need to be cautious. If your dog were to go swimming and get lost or simply fall from the boat, it will be incredibly hard to find them; this isn’t helped by their poor night vision. Unfortunately, dogs can’t wave for help and, often, blind panic will have them keep paddling regardless of direction.
Ear Infections – Once they’re finished enjoying a good splash around, clean their ears thoroughly because moisture here can lead to infection. Especially with lakes and oceans, the nasty bacteria will settle inside the ear and even eat through the drum. If you need help with how to do this properly, take a quick trip to your vet and they can make sure your dog doesn’t have to go through this pain.
Safety Products – With pool alarms, baby fences, and even life vests, there are now plenty of products available for dogs when it comes to swimming. With the dog vests and pool alarms, these will go above and beyond a fence and you can rely on them to keep your dog safe so you don’t have to watch them continually. Essentially, they become the last line of defense.
Special Needs – Take special considerations if your dog has epilepsy or any other health issues. In the more severe cases, we recommend you taking control of their experience fully as going it alone could be dangerous for them. Unfortunately, we’ve spoken to many pet parents who lost dogs to an accident in the water and it breaks our hearts every single time.
Exit Techniques – Finally, make sure your dog knows how to get out of the water should they fall in. Every so often, just show them the steps or ramp and they should remember it just in case they happen to fall inside.
There we have it, eight fantastic dog swimming safety tips. As long as you pay attention to these, they will remain safe and you can have peace of mind!