Summer is here and what better way for your pooch to cool off than a dip in water! But fun times can quickly turn dangerous if you’re not aware and prepared, so follow our water safety tips to insure successful swim time with your dog.

  • dog-swimmingNever force a dog into the water that doesn’t want to go in. Although all dogs can swim, some may not enjoy it or may find it difficult – particularly breeds with large bodies and short legs. Dogs not interested in swimming may panic and tire themselves quickly, putting them at risk for injuring themselves or much worse.
  • It is a good idea to invest in a properly fitting life jacket for your dog, especially those who enjoy swimming in rivers, lakes, or the ocean. These pups can easily get out too far or stuck in a strong current, and not have the strength to get back to shore.
  • Always make sure your dog’s water play time is supervised!
  • Have fresh water available for your dog so they don’t feel the need to drink the water they are swimming in. Salt water can cause hypernatremia (too much sodium in the blood), ponds/lakes may contain a deadly blue green algae, and chlorine from pools can cause gastrointestinal distress.
  • After a dunk in the water, rinse off your dog to prevent any lasting bacteria, chemicals, or salt from causing irritation to the skin or stomach. Be sure to replace the wet collar with a dry one to prevent hot spots.

Swimming is great fun and great exercise for your dog! Just be sure to make it a safe activity by following these tips and your summer will be full of wonderful "sea-side" memories that will last a lifetime.