Summer is a fantastic time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather with your pup. But it's important to remember that water can be dangerous for dogs if you fail to take the proper precautions.
In this blog post, we'll discuss water safety for dogs and share some useful tips to help you keep your four-legged friend out of danger when they're swimming.
Whether you're heading to the pool, beach, lake, or river, these tips will help you keep your dog safe so they can enjoy the water just as much as you do.
Ready to get started? Then let's dive in (pun intended)!
General Water Safety Guidelines
In a moment, we'll share some water safety tips for different types of swimming environments. But first, let's go over some general water safety guidelines you should always follow when your dog is swimming:
1) Get Your Dog Used to the Water Gradually
If your dog isn't used to swimming, don't just throw them in the deep end! Get them acclimated to the water gradually by splashing a little bit of water on their fur and letting them play in shallow water.
A kiddie pool is a great way to let your dog get used to the water in a controlled environment. You can also try using toys to entice them into the water. Once they're comfortable, you can slowly introduce them to deeper water.
Remember, it's important to go at your dog's pace. If they seem scared or uncomfortable, take a step back and try again later.
2) Invest in a Dog Life Jacket
A dog life jacket is an essential piece of gear for any pup that loves to swim. It will not only help keep them safe, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing they're protected in case of an emergency.
Even strong swimmers can quickly tire and get into trouble in the water, so a life jacket really is a must. Look for one that's specifically designed for dogs and make sure that it fits properly.
You'll also want to make sure the jacket has a handle on the back so you can easily grab your dog if they get into trouble. And finally, be sure to choose a bright color so your dog is easy to spot in the water.
3) Never Leave Your Dog Unattended Around Water
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to remember that accidents can happen quickly and without warning. If you can't keep a close eye on your dog, it's best to not let them swim at all.
If you're in a situation where you can't watch your dog (like if you're swimming yourself), make sure someone else is there to do it. That way, you can relax and enjoy your swim knowing that your pup is in good hands.
Water Safety Tips for Different Environments
Now that we've covered the most important general water safety guidelines, let's take a look at a few safety tips for different types of swimming environments:
If you're planning on taking your dog swimming in a pool, there are a few things you need to remember. Here are some water safety tips to keep in mind when your dog is swimming in the pool:
- Always supervise your dog when they're swimming. Keep an eye on floating pool toys, in case your dog accidently gets trapped or tangled in a toy.
- If possible, invest in a doggy ramp or stairs to help your pup get in and out of the pool. Teach your dog the location of the stairs or ramp, and train them to use it!
- Make sure your dog doesn't drink the pool water, as it can contain harmful chemicals like chlorine and bromine
Beach days are a blast for dogs and their humans alike. But it's important to be extra careful when your dog is swimming in the ocean. Here are a few water safety tips to keep in mind at the beach:
- Don't let your dog swim if there are strong currents or waves
- Be aware of rip tides and undertows and make sure your dog doesn't swim too far out
- Keep an eye out for dangerous wildlife, like jellyfish or sharks, and be sure to avoid areas where they're known to frequent
- Make sure your dog doesn't drink the salt water, as it can make them sick
Freshwater Lakes and Rivers
Freshwater lakes and rivers can be a great place to take your dog swimming. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure they stay safe. Here are a few safety tips for swimming in freshwater:
- Be aware of currents and make sure your dog doesn't swim too far out
- Keep an eye out for hazards like sharp rocks or logs that could hurt your dog
- Make sure your dog doesn't drink the water, as it can contain harmful bacteria or micro-organisms
More Quick Tips for a Safe and Fun Swim with Your Dog
Now that we've gone over some general water safety tips and tips for different types of swimming environments, here are a few more quick tips to help you and your dog have a safe and fun time when you're swimming together:
- Always have a doggy first-aid kit near you in case of any accidents
- Make sure your dog has a collar with ID tags in case they get lost
- Bring along plenty of fresh water and a bowl to help your dog stay hydrated
- Rinse your dog off with fresh water after they've been swimming to remove any salt, chlorine, or chemicals that could be harmful
- Don’t forget sunscreen. Some dogs may be more prone to sun burn than others. Apply sunscreen areas to skin areas that may be prone to burning, or to dogs with thinner coats.
Pro tip: CocoTherapy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is a great natural sunscreen and coat protector for dogs! A 2009 study found that coconut oil had a sun protection factor (SPF) of 7. However, while coconut oil does offer some sun protection, be aware that coconut oil blocks only an estimated 20% of actual UV radiation.
That being said, coconut oil is excellent for coat and skin protection. Melt some coconut oil in your hands and rub your dog’s coat, skin, and ears before letting them get into the water. It protects them from any harsh chemicals, salt, or other micro-organisms.
Have Fun Swimming with Your Pup!
Now that you know how to keep your dog safe when they're swimming, it's time to have some fun! So, grab your bathing suit, put on your sunscreen, and head to the nearest body of water with your four-legged friend. Just remember to follow the tips above to help ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone involved. Happy swimming!