5 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Swimming This Summer

If you have a dog that loves to swim, or you are considering taking your dog out for the first time to try out this experience, there are some safety considerations that you should keep in mind. Dogs love to swim in most cases, but they are not always prepared for the possible threats to their safety that can crop up in this environment. Most owners don’t think about these considerations and concerns either until something scary happens.

Being sure that you know the tips that will keep your dog safe while they are swimming this summer can help make the beach, lake, or river a lot more fun for both of you. Dogs should not be prevented from spending time in the water, but there are some situations and scenarios that you should be aware of no matter where you take your dog to swim.

Taking your dog swimming can be a lot of fun, but you should make sure to consider these tips and tricks before you head out to have an adventure near the water with your dog.

dog swimming safety

1. Start Out Slow

It can be tempting to just throw a toy in the water and send your dog after it. However, not every dog has been exposed to water, and you could be setting up your pet for failure if they get overwhelmed when they jump into the water. It is always best to take your dog into the water carefully in the beginning and to make sure that you have them on a leash or that you are in the water near them in case they need your help. Panicking pets can actually drown because they get too scared to make good choices.

Be sure as well that you take new puppies and new dogs out with other dogs on a leash for their first outing. Experienced dogs will often be quite brave and swim into deep water or water with a current. Your inexperienced dog might not be ready for this much of a challenge and could get into trouble.

2. Always Supervise

Never let your dog or dogs swim without you having an eye on them. Just like with children, dogs that are swimming alone can get into trouble and might drown. You should never count on the shallow depth of the water as meaning that a location is safe for unsupervised play in the water, either. Even shallow bodies of water can be deadly under the wrong circumstances.

Make sure that you cover your pool or keep it off-limits as well. Just because your dog knows how to swim doesn’t mean that they will be safe to swim in your pool when you are not around to keep an eye on them.

3. Invest in Lifejackets

If you are taking your pet to go with you to the lake, the beach, or on a hiking trail that is near a river with a lot of current, you should have your pet or pets wear life vests. Life jackets can ensure that your pet will not drown, even if they fall into deep water or they are out of your reach. Life jackets can be a big benefit when it comes to time spent near the water with your dog, and you will appreciate the peace of mind that this small added item can give you when playing with your dog near the water.

4. Be Careful About Location

If you are not sure about the current in a location or the depth of the water, you need to use caution when sending your pet out to swim. It can be easy for your pet to get caught up in an undertow or strong current and end up in serious trouble or even drown. The beach is the place that most people think about when they hear about strong currents, but rivers and even some lakes can have a lot of currents in them.

5. Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t Drinking a Lot of Water

Most of the places where you will want to take your dog to swim are not places where your dog should be drinking. Saltwater is bad for your dog, and lake or river water could be contaminated with protozoa or chemicals. Your dog can swim, but they should not drink the water around them. You should also be certain that you are taking your pet to swim in places that are safe and approved for dogs. You can usually look up the details of any river, lake, or pond area and see if there are warnings about animals and people swimming in them.

The ocean can be harder to double-check, but you can verify the tides that are predicted for the season or even the day, and you can be sure that your pet is not swimming on days when warnings about things like contamination or weather make the water unsafe.

Be sure to bring adequate supplies of drinking water for you dog, along with a portable bowl.

Swimming With Your Pet Can be Lots of Fun

Pets love to swim, and you can enjoy playing with your pet in the water with these tips in mind. You and your dog will have a great time playing at the beach, the lake, or the river if you are making sure to keep them safe and prevent them from drinking the water. Investing in a life vest is a great idea as well, and so is doing some research about the area that you are going to be visiting before you show up with your dog.

Swimming doesn’t have to be worrisome for dog owners, and some preparation and planning can make all the difference in your experience with your pet playing in the water. Always remember to bring water and a dog bowl for your pet to hydrate while you are away from home, and be sure that you bring towels and snacks for everyone. A day spent near the water with your dog can be a blast so long as you keep these tips and tricks in mind.

If you have questions about your dog’s health and wellness book an appointment at Heart + Paw. We have many locations to serve you and your pet!

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