This summer heat can be intense, and sometimes even dangerous for your pup. Swimming is a fantastic way to relieve some of the boredom and heat of summer, but safety should be first in all situations. We’ve compiled a list of tips that we think all dog owners should read before heading out to the beach or pool.
Here are 5 things that every dog owner should be aware of before swimming with their pup:
1. Not All Dogs Can Swim!
It’s a common misconception that all dogs are born with the ability to swim. While that may be true for most labradors or golden retrievers, other breeds aren’t as equipped for swimming, and sometimes the activity can even be dangerous. Brachycephalic breeds, like pugs and bulldogs,“top heavy” breeds, like boxers, and dogs with short legs, like basset hounds and dachshunds, have difficulty swimming for long periods of time, if at all. There are always exceptions to the rule of course, but every dog should be watched while swimming to make sure that they are safe at all times.
2. Don’t Drink The Water!
Drinking salt water can lead to dehydration in your dog, and increases his chances of ingesting harmful bacteria or algae. Bring your own water to the beach for your dog to drink. Pool water isn’t deadly for dogs in small amounts, but it is a good idea to provide plenty of fresh drinking water for them at all times. Get a great portable water bowl for your pup here!
You put sunscreen on yourself during a beach or pool day, so don’t forget about your dog! They are prone to getting sunburnt on their sensitive areas where hair doesn’t usually grow, like their nose, ears, and stomach. Avoid any products that contain zinc oxide, as it’s toxic to dogs, so find a sunscreen made specially for dogs and keep them safe from the sun!
4. Bring A Lifejacket
Even the most experienced and talented swimmer can get tired, injured, or distracted while swimming and lose control or the ability to stay afloat. Keep your pup safe with a dog life jacket that will keep them upright and afloat no matter the situation.
5. Take It Slow And Practice
You should never just throw a dog into water and expect them to know what to do. That is extremely dangerous, not to mention incredibly mean. If you are swimming in a pool, you should always show your dog where the stairs are to get out. A landmark like a potted plant or a chair to mark where they can safely exit the pool is a great idea. Take it slow, with small swimming ventures at first and slowly build up to more time in the water.
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