3 Safety Tips For Taking Your Dog Swimming This Summer
Swimming is one of the best exercises you during the summer; it's fun, low-impact, and a great way to stay cool on those hot days. But you know who else might like to enjoy the water with you? Your canine! However, before you take your four-legged furry friend for a dip in the swimming pool, beach, or other body of water, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.
Not All Dogs Can Swim
It is important that you don't assume your dog can swim. While you may assume they are naturals because of the "doggy paddle," the truth of the matter is that there are some breeds that simply can't do it very well.
In fact, it all has to do with the dog's body shape. For example, the Bulldog has a big chest, which makes it difficult to remain afloat. The Pug has a flat face, making it difficult to breathe well, which leaves it easily fatigued. The Chihuahua is a small dog, so it can easily become overwhelmed if there is a strong current or big wave.
So, as you are working with your dog on learning how to swim, it is important to keep the above factors in mind. Some dogs just simply aren't made for swimming, or a life jacket may help.
Use a Life Jacket
Believe it or not, life jackets aren't just for humans; they make them for dogs, too! The best thing that you can do for your dog, especially if it is struggling to stay afloat or seems to be tiring quickly, starting out with swimming lessons is to get it a life jacket. Just make sure that you get a life jacket that correctly fits your dog; try them on a pet store to ensure that you get one with the right fit. Otherwise, it may not properly do its job.
Even once your dog gets more experienced in the water, a life jacket still isn't a bad idea. This is especially if you decide to head to a new body of water, such as the beach where the waters are a bit rougher.
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Illness
When you take your dog swimming, there are certain waterborne diseases that can be transmitted to your dog from parasites. So, after a outing of swimming, make sure to keep a close eye on your furry friend for any signs of illness.
Some symptoms to particularly look for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decrease or lack of appetite, and fever. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to a local animal hospital, such as 1st Pet Veterinary Centers, as soon as possible. In some cases, the illness could be fatal if it is not treated.