The idea of taking a nice cool dip in the pool or lake may seem refreshing and relaxing for both you and your pets, but keep in mind some safety precautions before you let your pooch dive in.
- Not all dogs are natural swimmers, teaching your dog to swim is very important. Do not force them into the water, start in a shallow area and keep a leash and a life jacket on your pet. Get into the water with your dog and use positive reinforcement to encourage them.
- Keep a fence around your pool to keep your pets and wildlife out when you are not around.
- Teach your dog how to find the stairs in your pool.
- Monitor your pet for signs of exhaustion.
- Look out for strong currents if you are in a lake or river.
- Provide your dog with fresh drinking water; lake, river and pool water are not safe for your pet to drink.
- Be sure to rinse your dog off with clean water after a swim; chlorine and algae can cause skin irritation and illness.
- Check the temperature of the water first, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for them.
Swimming is a great exercise for pets when done in a safe and informed way. Contact your veterinarian for more information before starting any exercise program with your dog.