Water Safety for Dogs

Taking a dip in the backyard pool or a public lake can be a great way for dogs to cool down and get quality exercise. If you decide to take your dog for a swim, take note of your Grandview veterinarian’s water safety tips, listed below.

Make Sure Your Dog Can Swim

Before you even leave the house, ask yourself a question: can your dog swim? It’s commonly assumed that all dogs are natural swimmers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While many dogs will do fine in the water, there are many breeds who aren’t good swimmers at all. Make sure your dog will be comfortable in the water before diving in.

Stay With Your Dog for Support

Even if your dog is a seasoned swimmer with plenty of water experience, it’s always safest to go in the water with your dog and stay close by for support. Dogs swimming in the ocean may not be used to the feeling of waves and tides, and most dogs won’t be able to touch the bottom no matter what they’re swimming in. Also be sure not to let your dog out of your sight if you’re swimming in a public location.

Use Floatation Devices

Doggie floatation devices can be lifesavers, especially for dogs that are relatively new to swimming or aren’t solid water-goers. These are available at many pet supply stores and retail outlets, so ask your vet to recommend a quality set.

Bring Fresh Water to Drink

Remember: although your dog may be completely immersed in water, it’s not safe for him to drink it! Chlorinated pool water and salty ocean water are both bad for dogs and will upset the stomach. Don’t let your dog gulp down the water, and get him out of the pool or lake if you see him indulging. Bring along a bottle of fresh tap water for your pooch to drink from instead.

Rinse Out the Coat

Once you’ve gotten out of the water, your job isn’t done. Remember to rinse off your dog’s coat with fresh water, perhaps from a garden hose or in the tub. You’ll want to remove all sand, dirt, salt water, and other grime from the fur so it doesn’t irritate or dry out the skin.

Next time you venture into the water with your pooch, be prepared to keep him safe! Ask your Grandview veterinarian about other great water safety guidelines.