Your dog is not only your family pet, but your best friend. This is why it’s so important to keep your dogs safe in and around water.
Check out these tips for keeping your dog safe in water so you have a safe and healthy swim season.
All Dogs Can’t Swim
While your dog loves being with you wherever you are – the pool, lake, ocean, pond and on your boat, it doesn’t mean all dogs can swim.
Swimming may come naturally to some dogs, and others may not be able to swim at all.
Just like people, swimming ability varies depending on breed, experience and temperament.
Don’t assume your dog can swim. Start out slow in very shallow water to see how your pet does before aiming for the deep end.
Your dog can drown just like a person, so practice the same safety measures as you would for a human being.
Use a Life Preserver
Boat rules dictate that everyone wear a life preserver. This applies to your dog as well!
This helps take care of your dog if he happens to jump in, fall in, or something happens to your boat. It also helps you have something to grab onto if you need to pull your dog back into the boat.
Life preservers are a good idea in the swimming pool as well.
Watch Your Dog
Just like with children or people who can’t swim, you want eyes on your dog at all times.
Even the best swimmers get tired – their legs are short after all.
What’s important to understand as well is that dogs don’t know when they are getting tired and should stop. In addition, your dog doesn’t know the concept of treading water.
So, watch your dog and don’t let him get too far away from you because he might not be able to swim back.
Don’t Force Your Dog
If you try and force your dog into the water, you’ll only scare him. Don’t make him go in if he doesn’t want to.
Many dogs are content to just sit by your side. You want things to be safe and fun for your dog, so watch for his cues, and you’ll know how comfortable he is getting in the water.
If you have questions about your dog and swimming, consult with your veterinarian who can help you work through any issues.