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Guide to safe summer swimming with your dog: Dive in

How to safely dive in with your dog
How to safely dive in with your dog
Photo by Ordinary Guy CC BY

When dock diving or playing fetch with a floating toy make sure you have a safe, clean area where the dog has enough room to maneuver and its feet won’t be hurt by sharp rocks on the lake or river bed. Some dogs will be better suited for this retrieving game- such as the ‘Retriever’ family of dogs or the Border Collie- and others may not take to it. Try it out in shallow water first just to be safe.

A lot of pet parents love swimming in their pools with their furry family members during the hot summer months. This can allow you to swim with your dog without the fear or sharp rocks on the bottom or predatory marine creatures. Although humans can handle swimming in chlorinated pools a dog’s ears, nose and eyes are much more sensitive to the chemical. It is not recommended that a dog swim in a chlorinated pool and dogs should never drink large amounts of chlorinated water.

Purchasing a dog friendly pool cleaner can reduce vet bills down the road. If you chose to allow your dog to swim in a chlorinated pool use low levels of chlorine and always rinse your dog down with fresh water prior to the swim. Make sure the ears are clean and dry- especially if you have a floppy-eared dog. Provide safe, clean drinking water for your pooch close by so that it has no reason to drink from the pool.

Keep in mind that although it is easy for your dog to get into the pool it may not be so easy for it to get out. Give your canine companion a helping hand out of the pool to create a positive experience from start to finish.

If you plan on having your dog poolside in the summer time it may be best to fence-in the area around the pool. That way you can close off the pool area when you don’t want your dog to go in the water. This will allow you to let the dog outside without having to worry about the risk of drowning.

When it comes to swimming and other water sports with your dog it's pretty much hit or miss. But that doesn't mean that all dogs can't enjoy water in their own way. Every dog is different and the best thing about introducing water to your dog is learning and discovering together. The bonding experience it extremely rewarding and the health benefits are many. So test the waters with your dog and you never know- you may just dive into a whole new relationship with your best doggie friend!

Dog swimming checklist:

-Towels to dry off dog, ear wipes or ear cleaner

-Canine life preserver of other floatation device designed for canines

-Plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and a bowl to serve it

-First aid kit that also includes quick stop, tweezers for removing ticks, contact information for nearby emergency veterinary service

-Sunscreen for dogs with close cropped fur, light coloured nose or sensitivities to the sun

-Food, treats and other training tools

-Doggie hat to prevent heat stroke

-Umbrella or another tool used to provide shade

-Poop bags and something to keep them in until you can find a garbage can

-Leash and collar with identification

-Paw protection wax for hot sand

-Floating toys


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