Water Fun and Safety for Pets

Summer is winding down, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy fun in the sun. Water play is popular for many of us as well as our pets. But first things first. We need to make sure our pets stay safe in and near the water. Here are some tips to make sure things stay fun out there.

First off, do not assume your dog is a good swimmer. Some dogs are, some dogs are not. This goes for certain breeds and for each individual dog. The best thing to do is to test your dog in safe situations before letting him get in over his head (literally). Start with still, shallow water and stay close to see how your little guy does. Encourage him to get into the water, but never force him. If things go well, branch out from there. You can also ask your veterinarian for tips regarding your dog and his breed.

When you do let your dog into the water, get in with her to keep her safe. This will help keep your pet close, and you can gauge the water temperature and current. Your vet will have tips on how to teach your dog to enjoy the water, if she needs some gentle encouragement.

Always stay close and keep an eye on your pet. Just like with people, drowning can happen quickly and quietly.

Get a life jacket for your pet to be safe.

If you take your pet somewhere with currents or rough water like the beach, a lake, or stream, keep a close eye on the water. Do not let your pet near riptides or strong currents, even if he is a strong swimmer.

Also, watch what your pet gets into. Drinking ocean water or eating fish or certain plants can make your dog sick. Ask your vet what specific plants to watch out for before you go. Also ask what other precautions you might need to take like vaccinations, learning canine CPR, or anything else.

When you are done having fun, remember to give your pet a good bath. It is a good idea to get the water, algae, chlorine, or whatever else she got into out of her skin and fur. And as always, remember to clean up anything your pet may have left behind.

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities with your pet. Water play ranks among the best. Keep these safety tips in mind, and you will look forward to more fun in the sun.