Pet Water Safety
Water play can be a great way to interact with your dogs and help cool them off. Just remember to go slowly, use caution and be vigilant. Overall, consider using the same safety measures with your dog around water that you would use with a small child.
Consider these safety tips:
- Many dogs love to swim, but some dogs do not!
- Use flotation devices for unskilled dogs or those that require additional care (e.g.. older or debilitated).
- Know where your dog is at all times and do not allow them to swim unsupervised.
- Make sure they understand how to swim by first starting them in shallow water.
- They can tire from a lot of swimming so give them rest.
- They must be able to easily exit the water so they can get out whenever needed.
- Provide fresh drinking water to keep them hydrated, especially in the heat.
- Don’t let dogs drink the water in which they are swimming! They could ingest toxic chemicals, infectious agents, or too much sodium – all of which can make them sick.
- Use the same caution in moving bodies of water (rivers, oceans) you would use with humans – remember tides and currents can change abruptly!
- Rinse any pool chemicals or salt off their skin once they are finished swimming. This will help keep their skin from getting irritated and will prevent them from licking and ingesting the chemicals.
- Don’t have a body of water to take your dog swimming? Try a plastic kiddie pool with fresh water. Just be sure to supervise your dog even in this small pool!
References and Additional Resources:
~Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS