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Keeping your dog safe around water and while swimming

July 08, 2014

The shorts and teeshirts have come out of storage, and the heat is here to stay! While this is a fun time of the year, it is also a time where we need to step back and remember to be safe around pools, lakes, ponds, and oceans. We want to encourage you to enjoy the water with your dog, but make sure to be prepared. Whether you're headed off on a boating adventure, the beach, or a pool. make sure to follow these simple tips to make sure you and your furry one have smooth sailing (get it?). 

  1. Dogs need to learn how to swim! Just like humans, dogs also need to learn how to swim. Do not assume your dog already knows how! Your dog however will most likely learn quite a bit faster than a person would. Making your dog feel comfortable in the water is extremely important and should not be overlooked. We suggest tossing toys into a shallow body of water to allow your dog the option to go and fetch it. We like to take our dogs to lakes and beaches where there is a gradual drop, rather than a pool where it happens suddenly. DO NOT just toss your dog in the pool. This is extremely dangerous.

  2. Don't assume your dog can swim! Just because you see dogs swimming does not mean they all can, or that they all want to! Many dogs will never feel comfortable in the water, and you will need to respect that if your dog is one of them. Dogs with larger bodies and shorter legs (think American Bulldogs) do not swim for fun usually - they swim to survive. 

  3. Going on a boating adventure? Make sure your dog understands the boundaries of the boat, and where he or she can and cannot go. A dog overboard is a horrible situation and is one that is completely preventable given the right precautions were taken. Make sure your dog has an illumination device if you will be out on the boat at night (such as our led dog collars) that way you know where on the boat he or she is at all times. If your dog falls overboard at night, immediately shut the engines off and get a search light out. if your dog falls overboard during the day, point at him or her continuously in the water so that you do not lose his or her position. 

  4. Ear infections in dog's are never fun. You will want to make sure you clean your dog's ears after a swim as to remove any excess moisture. Ocean and lake water especially, as they tend to have a bit more bacteria than other bodies of water.

  5. The beach, while sounding great, may not be the best place to take your dog. Sand can be very difficult to get out of their coat, and dogs do not know how to avoid other animals like jelly fish or crabs! Broken shells can also pose a threat as they may cut your dogs paws in between the pads. 

  6. Invest in safety products! Along with our LED Dog Collar to keep your pup visible at night around water, you will want to make sure you have a fence as well. Some states require pools to be fenced in, others do not. We suggest you at least get a baby pen to put your dog in when you cannot supervise so they cannot roam and fall into the pool. Do not rely on a barrier or safety device however, this is the last defense and no substitute for constant supervision.

  7. Train your dog on how to exit the pool. Teaching your dog where the exits are (such as the steps or ramps) is something that is easy to do. If your dog ever falls in, this will increase the likelihood that they can get out on their own.

  8. Watch out for hypothermia. Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from hypothermia in cold water. Unlike humans however, your dog will not understand that the water is what is making them colder. As a general rule, if you need to get out of the water because you are getting cold, then your dog is at risk of getting cold as well.
There are no exact numbers on how many dogs are lost each year to swimming accidents. However it can be assumed that almost every single one of these incidents is an accident - one that could have been avoided. Make sure to take the time and prepare yourself and your dog so that you can include him or her in your swimming fun! 

 





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