The summer is heating up, and for your pup that could mean cooling down with water time! Whether they’re seasoned swimmers or first time splashers, water safety is paramount for all dogs, just like it is for humans.
As you gear up for the beach or pool, educate yourself on the dog water safety basics!
Introducing your dog to the water for the first time
There’s a first for everything, and when it comes to dogs and water- you want to do it the right way so they feel confident and comfortable for years to come.
Some doggie daycares in Jacksonville, FL have splash pads or water play events that give dogs a safe environment to cool off with friends. It’s a good starting point for this new experience.
But if you’re heading out to the lake, remember that not all dogs are natural swimmers, so take these precautions and observe how your dog reacts to water.
Lead them to a peaceful, shallow spot away from other people and dogs.
Start at the edge and work your way in (both of you together). Keep a leash on your pup at all times.
Your buddy will most likely start paddling with their front legs. Help move their hind legs to get them going.
If your pup doesn’t want to go into the water- don’t force it. They may not be ready, and that’s OK. Try again next time!
Other things to remember
Always remove flea/tick collars before entering the water, as the medication can wear off.
Rinse your pup off with fresh water after swimming in a lake, river, pool, or the ocean.
Now’s also a good time to learn canine CPR in case of an emergency.
If you’re visiting a pond, river, or lake…
Consider purchasing a doggie lifejacket, especially if you’re going out in a boat.
If bodies of water have blue-green algae present, keep your pup away- it can make them sick.
How strong is the current? Make sure it’s easy for your dog to paddle to shore without getting swept away!
Watch out for fishing gear such as sharp hooks and transparent lines!
If you’re heading to the beach…
Stop your pup from drinking salty ocean water. Always bring pure water for them to stay hydrated under the hot sun.
Learn how to spot riptides, so you can protect your dog from getting pulled far from shore.
Sometimes dogs might be interested in snacking on a dead fish or crab that washes up on shore. Keep them away- it can make them sick.
At the swimming pool…
Put up a dedicated safety fence when the pool is not in use, or install a pool cover.
Make sure the steps are doggo friendly, and teach your pup how to climb in and out.
Always check the pool temperature beforehand to make sure it’s not too cold.