Water can be a great source of fun for you and your dog this Summer, but there are safety precautions to keep in mind while you are having fun. Whether you are at a beach, pool, or lake, here are some dog water safety tips to keep the fun times going.

General Water Safety

  • Don’t assume that all dogs are natural-born swimmers. While some breeds take to swimming faster, most dogs will need to be taught how to swim.
  • Don’t force your dog to go into the water if they don’t want to.
  • When learning to swim, start at a shallow area of water and keep them leashed.
  • Get into the water with your dog, and never leave them unsupervised in a body of water.
  • Use a life jacket for your dog, especially for smaller breeds.
  • Keep the experience stress-free so they are not deterred from water in the future.
  • Rinse and dry them off after being in a body of water. Seawater in particular can irritate you dog’s skin and fur.
  • If your dog wears a flea collar, remove it before getting into the water to avoid its active ingredients being washed away.
  • Avoid ear infections by thoroughly drying your dog’s ears after after having been in the water.
  • Learn canine CPR.

Beach Safety

  • Be cautious of riptides and currents
  • Ocean water can cause dehydration and upset your dog’s stomach. Make sure that they don’t drink ocean water and keep fresh water to keep them hydrated.
  • Don’t let your dog eat fish or other critters that have washed up on shore as this can upset their stomach as well.

Pool Safety

  • Show your dog how to get in/out of the pool using the stairs or ramp
  • Check the water temperature beforehand to make sure it isn’t too cold for your dog.
  • When not in use, keep the pool covered and secured to make sure your dog cannot get in.

Lake/Pond Safety

  • Stay away from water with blue-green algae. According to the Cornell Richard P. Riney Canine Health Center, blue-green algae can cause “shock, liver failure, respiratory arrest and even death can occur.”
  • If you are on a boat, put a life jacket on your dog.
  • Keep fishing gear out of reach from your dog.

Written by Vincent M.

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