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The safety of your dog near water: 5 things to consider to protect your best friend's life

Posted by Mélanie De Nobile on

Who says hot weather, says swimming at the beach, pool or lake. When we plan a day at the water's edge, we certainly want to bring doggy to enjoy this beautiful day with the rest of the family. But beware, water can be a danger to your dog and, to avoid a dramatic situation, prevention is better than cure! Here are our tips to make sure your dog is safe near water.


1. Global Tips

No matter what environment you are with your dog, these tips apply as soon as you are near the water and if your dog goes in the water.  
  • One of the basic rules to observe at all times: Make sure to keep your dog in sight, and, if possible, keep it on a leash.
  • Learn canine CPR. Mouth-to-nose resuscitation and chest compressions could save a dog’s life in an emergency.
  • Dry your dog’s ears completely to prevent an infection.
  • Remember to remove his flea collar. Water may alter the effect of the active ingredients.
  • Rinse your dog off after he’s been in any type of water. Seawater minerals, salt, chlorine, algae, and pollution can irritate or damage his skin and fur.


2. In a Lake, River or Pond

Are you planning a hike in the forest? Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe if you are near a watercourse.

  • First thing to do is to Check the current and make sure it is not too strong for your dog to swim in.
  • Don’t let your dog swim in water with blue-green algae. It can make him sick.
  • Get your dog a life jacket, especially if you take him out on a boat or a dock.
  • Be extremely careful with fishing equipment (yours or someone else’s). Sharp hooks and barbs can hurt your dog.



3. At the beach

For most dogs, getting to run around in the sand, dip into the waves, and fetch balls out of the water is the best day ever! However, check with your local beaches because not all beaches allow dogs. Here are some tips to ensure that you and your dog are safe and have fun at the beach.

  • Pay attention to how your dog is acting and responding while he's with you throughout the day, since there could be the potential of either heat stroke or hypothermia (if he's been swimming for a little too long in cold water).
  • Watch out for strong currents and riptides, which can take you both out to sea. Even the best swimmer can be in danger when seas are rough.
  • Don’t let your dog drink ocean water. It can make him sick. Bring fresh water with you to keep him hydrated.
  • Keep your pal away from fish that have washed onto the shore. They may smell great to him, but they can make him ill.
  • Do check the ocean for jellyfish and stingrays. A sting to your dog will be sure to ruin both his and your experience.


4. By the pool

If you have a pool in your backyard or if you go to friends who have a pool, here are some tips to enjoy it with your dog without worries

  • Do not let them drink pool water.
  • Do some obedience training. “Sit” and “stay” might not have a place in the pool, but “come” certainly does. Your dog should always come when you call.
  • Make sure your dog does not have access to the pool during your absence. You can install a fence or a sturdy cover. IF he has access, never leave your dog unsupervised.
  • Teach your dog how to get in and out. Make sure there are steps or a ramp he can use to climb out. He may get tired of swimming or just tired of being in the water and he needs to have an easy way to exit.


5. Tips for swimming

You may think that swimming is a skill that all dogs naturally have, but swimming isn't necessarily an innate ability for dogs. There’s no sure way to gauge your dog's swimming skills until you introduce him to water and teach him the basics:

  • Choose a quiet, shallow spot in the water.
  • Keep your dog on a leash while he learns.
  • Get into the water with him.
  • Start at the edge of the water and stay as long as he enjoys it.
  • If he doesn't want to go, don’t force him in, especially if it’s a deep spot.
  • When your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs to show him how to float.

Hopefully, these tips will help you enjoy water with your doggy all summer long!

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