Water Safety Tips For Your Dog

Water Safety Tips For Your Dog January 12, 2016

Nadia Crighton takes a look at some valuable water safety tips for you dog to keep your beloved dog safe around water this summer.

Whether your dog is a professional swimmer, or one who is simply terrified of the water (tips on teaching your dog how to swim here), there are a few safety tips to consider to keep them safe this summer.

Water safety tips: Pools
Always keep your pool gates shut and do not encourage your dog to run around the pool. Many good swimming dogs have been known to fall into the pool and have died from exhaustion as they simply could not find their way out. If you have a pool and your dog does swim in it regularly make a simple ramp for them to get in and out and teach them how to do this.
Discourage your dog from drinking the pool water as the chlorine can upset the linings of their stomach and make them ill. Keep a bucket of drinking water close by and encourage them to drink from the bucket and not the pool.

Water safety tips: Beach
Dogs love the beach and there is just something special about watching a dog swimming out to sea to retrieve a ball. This is a wonderful experience for your dog, but like children they need you to be their main supervisor. If the conditions are too rough, consider throwing the ball across the water and not out to sea. Remembering that dogs can drown very quickly. Always keep fresh water on hand. Dog’s love drinking and snapping at the waves, too much salt water will cause your dog to vomit.

Water safety tips: Teaching
Top water safety tip: Teach your dog to swim and be safe around the water. Some dogs need a little encouragement when it comes to paddling, while other just can’t wait to get in and shake the heat away.

  • Start slowly in shallow water.
  • Teach your dog where the shallow and deep-end of the beach/pool are.
  • Never push your dog to swim, some dogs love the water while other loath it. Patience and positive re-enforcement is what is required.
  • Consider a doggy life-vest. This will give insecure swimmers confidence. Plus they have a handy handle so you can pick your dog up and assist when needed.
  • Use toys and treats as a reward with plenty of praise.
  • Encourage pups to splash in shallow water.

A dog can drown very quickly. In fact many great swimmers have been known to drown after panicking in water or becoming trapped. So what do you do if your dog has taken in large amounts of water and is unresponsive?

  • Invert the dog so that they are upside down. You may need help if you have a larger dog.
  • Try and get your dog to vomit the water up by sweeping your fingers at the back of the throat.
  • Asses if CPR is required.
  • If CPR is needed…start immediately.
  • Call an emergency veterinarian and tell them you are on your way and the condition of the animal.
  • Get to the veterinarian, quickly and safely.

More on Pet First Aid found here