Pet Safety: Around the Water
Summer is a great time to enjoy the water and many people want to share that experience with their pets, but is it safe? In this blog post we will discuss different ways to enjoy the water while keeping your pet safe. Water safety is on the mind of many new parents, but that isn’t always the case when new pets are brought home. Your pet needs just as much protection in the water as a child, so make sure you know all the facts!
Learning to swim
Many people think that dogs are natural-born swimmers, but that isn’t always true. The younger you teach your dog to swim, the more likely they are to learn and enjoy the process.
- Keep your dog on a leash to stay close in the beginning.
- Find a shallow place to teach your pet to swim.
- Get in the water so that your dog knows it’s safe.
- Slowly ease your dog into the water, starting at the edge and gradually getting deeper as your dog feels comfortable.
- Listen to your dog. Don’t force swim lessons if your dog isn’t enjoying it.
- When your dog starts to paddle with its front legs, gentle lift its hind legs and help your dog float.
The more times you do this, the more comfortable your dog will become in the water. Make sure to keep the lessons positive and don’t force your dog to swim if that isn’t what it wants.
Keep a fence around your pool to keep your dog out when unsupervised. Keep a cover on the pool when it isn’t in use. This cover should be sturdy to that your dog doesn’t fall through any gaps on the edges. It should allow rain water to drain through because dogs can drown in puddles that gather on top of pool covers. Check the temperature of the water before letting your dog swim because cold water isn’t good for all breeds.
Bring plenty of freshwater along so that your dog isn’t tempted to drink the ocean water. This may be a constant battle, but salt water can make your dog very sick. The same goes for fish that have washed up on shore. It probably smells great to your curious pet and they will want to explore, but dead fish can make your dog very ill. While spending time in the water, keep a lookout for riptides. These strong currents can put you and your dog in danger. Mainly, be aware of your surroundings, try to keep your dog away from direct dangers, and have a great time exploring new places with your pet!
General Water Safety
Keep your dog close while in the water. Dogs can tire quickly in the water because they don’t understand the need to rest or tread water. Instead, your dog will likely continuously swim until completely bored or exhausted, so you want to make sure you are close when this happens. Keep in mind that dogs are even heavier in water than on land, so if you ever need to pull your dog out of the water, make sure that you have the physical strength. If you ever take your dog on a boat, it should wear a life preserver made for dogs. This makes it easy to spot your dog so that if it tires you can easily find it in the water. These life preservers often have handles on the back so that you can easily grab them and bring them to safety.
Much of this information was gathered from the Pet Health Network and from the NY Daily News. There is plenty of pet water safety information online, but this post covers all of the basics. Follow these safety guidelines and have a great time with your pet in the water!