Swimming is a fun activity that’s loved by both humans and animals. It helps dogs stay active and maintain a healthy weight besides keeping them cool during hot summer days. It’s also a low-impact exercise that’s excellent for dogs with arthritis since it doesn’t put pressure on their injured joints. To ensure that your pet swims safely every time, here are some safety tips to have in mind:
Never Assume That All Dogs Can Swim
This is the worst assumption you can ever make as a dog owner. Some dogs like swimming naturally, while others are freaked out by the idea of being in the water. Usually, a dog’s ability to swim will largely depend on the type of body shape he has. For instance, breeds with large chests and short legs like the Bulldog find it physically difficult to stay afloat in water. Similarly, flat-faced breeds like the Pug can develop breathing problems while swimming, which often leaves them fatigued.
Small dog breeds like Chihuahuas can also be overwhelmed by strong currents or big waves. It’s therefore paramount that you keep these factors in mind as you teach your pet how to swim. If you notice that your canine friend is struggling to swim, get him a life vest or jacket to help him stay afloat and keep safe.
Go Slow During Swimming
Lessons If you’re teaching your dog how to swim for the first time, don’t expect him to jump into the water right away. Some dogs get nervous and scared initially, but after a couple of training sessions, they develop confidence enough to swim on their own. So, be patient with yours; allow him to explore the water at his own pace.
Don’t Let Him Drink From Pools, Ponds, Lakes And Oceans
Water from the above water bodies is extremely salty, so never let your pet drink such waters. The osmotic effect of salty water pulls liquids into the intestines of dogs, causing them to have a severe form of vomiting and diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration, and in worst cases even death. Seawater is also contaminated with bacteria and other harmful microorganisms that can transmit various diseases to your dog. Pesticides also find their way to the lakes, rivers and oceans. Therefore, if you don’t want your puppy or adult dog to ingest these harmful chemicals, carry plenty of clean and fresh drinking water for him whenever you go out.
Watch Your Pet For Any Signs Of Illness After Swimming
As already mentioned above, the microorganisms, parasites and toxic chemicals in seawater can transmit diseases to dogs during swimming. Therefore, after every swimming session, keep a close eye on your pet for any symptoms of illness like vomiting diarrhea and fever. If you notice any of these, take him immediately to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Overall, swimming is a good form of exercise that helps our pets maintain a healthy weight and keeps them cool on hot sunny days. You can help your dog have fun safely in your local dog-friendly pool or beach with the above swimming tips in mind.