Water Safety for Dogs

Just because there is a swimming stroke called “doggie paddle,” it is often assumed that all dogs know how to swim and are competent swimmers.

Wrong! This is not the case at all. Dogs can get into difficulties and drown in the same way that children­ – and adults – can without proper safety precautions in place.

Of course some breeds are more water-born that others. Breeds such as the Newfoundland, that has webbed feet, along with water spaniels, golden retrievers, Irish setters and English setters are not only fond of water, but are generally good swimmers.

Their expertise in water has a lot to do with their build. The above breeds are long limbed, muscular and strong. At the other end of the scale, stocky breeds like bulldogs and pugs and pooches with short little legs such as dachshunds are going to struggle to stay afloat.

Just like children, some dogs are also scared of water. It is possible to teach such a dog to swim by taking him into the swimming pool with you and holding him until he gets used to the feel of the water and the idea that it’s okay to move about.

It’s important that your dog knows his way around your pool – particularly where the shallow end is and the steps. There are also special ramps that you can buy and position in the deep end to help pets get out safely and without panicking.

There are special flotation devices for dogs. They come in all sizes and even have a handle on the back of the neck area so that you can swiftly take control. They are a really good idea whether you are teaching your dog to swim, or even if your dog knows how to swim, and is simply hanging around the pool with family and friends. Accidents happen!

A floatation device should be part of your dog’s kit if you go hiking or camping near a river, too. Similarly, it’s a really good idea for your dog to wear one if you go sailing or even if you are lucky enough to be spending time on a yacht!

And while we are talking about sun and water, it’s important to talk doggie sunscreen too. This is especially important to apply to pink noses, paws and tummy patches. Dogs are susceptible to skin cancers – just like people. There are special products made especially for dogs in the form of a liquid and wipes for easy application.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Print
  • email