The heat of summer makes swimming and other water activities increasingly popular for both people and their canine friends. Consideration must be taken when incorporating your canine into the watery fun of summer. While most dogs are fairly capable swimmers, lack of experience and endurance can put the life of your beloved pet at risk. Specially manufactured dog life vests are a must have if you plan to take your dog to any type of pool, river, or lake regardless of the size of the body of water. Even a creek or small irrigation ditch can become deadly during spring run-off and/or heavy rains. Always keep your dog on a leash when around water and within reach when engaged in water activities in order to prevent potential drowning. Know your pet’s limits and watch for signs of fatigue and distress before, during, and after water activities. Never attempt to force your canine pal into the water as a panicked canine can cause injury to themselves or others in the area and may increase the risk of a drowning incident. Starting your pet off in a controlled environment, such as a local dog pool or even a child’s pool in their own back yard, can be a good introduction to water for your four-legged friend. Always thoroughly wash and dry your dog after being in water in order to prevent skin and ear infections and skin parasites (such as leeches). Do not allow your pet to drink from water in which they are swimming. Clean, fresh water for drinking should be available at all times for your pet to prevent dehydration.
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on water safety for your canine best friend or visit: http://www.petside.com/article/swim-dog-water-safety
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff