Dog swimming in pool.

With summer upon us, many people will be hitting the beach, the pool, or going boating, and often they will bring their trusty dog along with them. If you take your dog around lakes, rivers, oceans or pools, here are six tips to keep in mind to make sure your pet stays safe.

1) Invest In A Dog Life Jacket 

Dog wearing a life jacket.


Dogs instinctively know how to paddle but they don’t instinctively know how to swim. In fact, certain breeds of dog have a difficult time swimming due to their body type. When taking your dog around water, a life jacket made specifically for dogs can be a benefit to even the most experienced of swimmers. Plus, most dog life jackets come with a handle, so if you need to lift your pup out of the water you are safely able to do so.



2) Don’t Force Your Dog To Swim

Two dogs playing in the water


You should never force or throw a dog into the water. Not only is this scary for them, it is also dangerous. Instead, start slowly and coax your dog into the water using treats, tennis balls and other floating toys. If your dog is afraid of the water, see if there are any dog pools in your area that may offer canine swimming lessons. 




3) Provide Drinking Water

Dog standing by pool.


When bringing your dog around water you may think there is no harm in letting your pet drink the water. However, bacteria and algae in lake water can cause serious health issues, and drinking chlorinated pool water or saltwater is not good for your pet. Bring a water source along for your dog to drink and don’t let your dog drink lake or pool water. 




4) Show Your Dog How To Safely Exit

Dog jumping into pool.


Make sure your dog knows how to safely exit the water. Show your pup how to get back to shore, how to enter the boat, or how to use the pool steps or ladder. A dog that does not know how to safely exit a water source runs the risk of drowning. Even if your dog doesn’t enjoy swimming, they still need to know how to exit the water in case they accidentally fall in.



5) Always Supervise Your Dog 

Two dogs running in a body of a water.


You should always supervise your pup around water. Swimming can be a lot of fun for your pet but there are also dangers involved. In addition, dog’s will sometimes keep swimming even when they are exhausted which can lead to an increased risk of drowning. By supervising your dog you can make sure they take breaks from swimming. 




6) Rinse Your Dog

Dog getting rinsed with water.


After swimming, be sure to give your dog a good rinse. Saltwater and chlorine can cause dry skin and lake water can leave your pet smelling funky. You should also clean out your dog’s ears after swimming to remove any water that may have gotten trapped inside. Excess moisture in your pup’s ears can lead to infection. Check out this blog to learn how to clean your dog’s ears. 



Having a dog that loves to swim is great but even for pets who don’t like to swim, it’s still important to take precautions to make sure your dog is safe during water-related activities. Have fun and stay safe this summer as you explore the great outdoors with your best fur-iend.

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