Now that summertime is here, people are starting to venture out, especially to the local beach or lake near your apartment with the family and dogs! As you prep for a day of swimming or boating, remember to include plans to ensure that your family AND your pup are happy, healthy, and safe near the water.
Ease Your Dog Into the Water
Not all dogs are naturally good swimmers, and if this is his first time near the water, it can be a bit nerve-wracking for both of you. You never want to throw your dog straight into the water; instead, choose a quiet, shallow spot where he can get his paws wet and allow him to navigate at his own pace. Keep him on the leash while he learns and try getting in the water with him to show that it's safe. If he doesn’t want to go in, don’t force him.
Just because you've found a dog beach that seems perfect for your paddling pooch, it doesn’t necessarily mean it's safe. Watch out for strong currents or tides as even the strongest swimmer can get dragged out to sea if they get caught in a strong one. Also, keep your pal away from any fish or sea life that has washed up on the shore. Fido may be tempted to chew on that delicious chunk of fish, but it can make him ill or he could get stung. Lastly, be sure to bring fresh drinking water for him. If your four-legged friend gets thirsty, he may be tempted to drink the salty ocean water, which can make him sick.
River, Lake, or Pond Safety
If you decide to take your best pal out to the river, lake, or pond, remember that these seemingly calm bodies of water can pose their own threat. The best thing to do to ensure Fido’s safety, is to get him a life jacket, especially if you're on a boat or dock. Keep an eye out for parts of the water that could pose a threat to his health and safety, such as fishing spots with sharp hooks or areas with blue-green algae. If you visit a river or creek, keep an eye on the current to make sure it doesn’t get too strong.
Now that you know how to keep your paddling pooch safe this summer, head to your local body of water and enjoy some fun in the sun. Once you get home to your apartment, be sure to wash him off entirely and dry his ears to prevent infection. Have any other water safety tips for fun in the sun with your dog? Share them with us in the comments below.