Whether you’re looking to head to the lake, the beach, or the local pool, taking your pet dog along for the ride can be a fun experience.
Many dogs greatly enjoy swimming as much as humans do, but as with kids, you need to make sure that your pet remains safe during your outing. Here are some effective common sense swimming safety tips that all pet owners should be aware of:
1. Just like humans, dogs need to actively learn how to swim before they’re ready to go into the water. Never under any circumstances should you toss your dog into the water hoping that his survival instinct kicks in! It is traumatizing for your pet, and he or she may drown in the process. To get your pet to learn the concept of swimming, try tossing a ball or stick near the water and slowly tossing it further to help your pet advance.
2. Many pet owners assume that their dog is going to be a good swimmer, but keep in mind that not all dogs can swim. In fact, dogs that have large bodies and small legs generally don’t like to swim as a way of enjoyment, but rather for survival. Keep in mind, that your dog’s vision is poor at night and as a result of advanced age, therefore, swimming may not be a safe idea.
3. Ear infections are quite common in dogs, so you need to take care of your pet by cleaning his or her ears after their water adventure. Water from lakes and the ocean can make way for bacterial growth and eat away at your pet’s ear drum, which is one horrible ear infection you wouldn’t want your pet to have. Have your vet show you the responsible way of keeping your pet’s ear clean and you can use the same method to clear water out once your pet is done swimming.
4. Always supervise your dog when you’re near water. If it’s your own swimming pool at home, make sure you put up safety fencing so your pet doesn’t fall in, and keep a life vest handy for your dog. Additionally, train your pet how to get out of the pool if he or she falls in unexpectedly!
5. Be sure your pet goes to the bathroom before entering the pool area. There is nothing worse than having a pet that uses the pool deck as a place to do it’s business. Not only is it not pleasant, but there are many safety concerns when pet droppings get close to swimming water. Watch for those bathroom signs and be sure to help your pet along in that area!
Swimming accidents are very real thing, even with pets. To avoid losing your pet to drowning, make sure you employ the tactics discussed above for a safe swimming trip.