There’s not much cuter than a puppy excitedly splashing around in the water, cooling off from the hot, summer heat. But before you take your pup swimming or boating, there’s a few water safety tips for dogs to keep in mind:
Dog Swimming Safety Tips
You’ve probably seen pictures of adorable puppies dog paddling through a pool or even videos of Golden Retrievers gracefully swimming in a lake, but the truth is, not all dogs are natural swimmers. You won’t know your dog’s ability until you get them in the water, so be cautious at first.
- Test Your Dog’s Swimming Ability – Keep your pup on a leash and take them to a shallow, small area first. Get in the water with him and see how well he swims. If he seems nervous or uninterested, don’t force him.
- Can You Pick Up Your Dog? – If your dog is heavy on land, he’s going to be even heavier in water when his fur gets wet. If you can’t easily pick your dog up, then don’t ever let him get out of arm’s reach.
- Immediately Wash Your Dog After Swimming – Don’t let pool chemicals or salt or bacteria from lakes stay on your pup’s skin. Dogs immediately lick everything that gets on them, and this can make them sick.
- Keep Fresh Drinking Water Handy – If your dog is hot and thirsty, he’s going to drink whatever is around him. Keep fresh water on hand, so he’s not tempted to drink extremely harmful pool, ocean, or lake water. Trust us, you don’t want to deal with giardia. If your dog starts drinking anything but fresh water, stop him.
- Let Your Pup Rest – Swimming can be exhausting, so make sure your dog has a cool, shaded area to rest in when he gets tired.
Boating Safety Tips for Dogs
If your dog is up for it, you’re going to love taking him out on a boat. Just picture it – ears flapping in the wind, cute little life preserver hugging him tight. It’s almost too cute to handle, but just make sure you stay safe by following these boating safety tips:
- Get a Life Jacket for Your Dog – Seriously, don’t neglect this extremely important safety feature. Dogs having a good time can excitedly jump overboard, or worse, an accident can occur that lands your pup in the water. Not only does a life preserver help him stay afloat, but it will make it much easier to grab your dog in the event he lands in the water.
- Get a Dog First Aid Kit – Not only do you need a kit that includes cotton balls and bandages, make sure you have antibiotic ointment with you. Everywhere you might go boating is filled with bacteria, and it can make your dog sick if it gets into an open wound.
- Get Your Dog Used to the Boat – If your dog has never been on a boat before, don’t let his first visit be while it’s moving on the water. Get him acquainted with the boat before taking him on an adventure.
- Check the Laws in the Area – Not all places allow you to bring your dog with you on a boat ride. Make sure you check the local laws before planning your outing.
- Hydrate and Protect From the Sun – Clean drinking water is crucial, as we mentioned above, but so is sunscreen. If your dog won’t be protected by shade, make sure you bring a dog-friendly sunscreen spray.
- Keep Curious Pups on a Leash – Whether it’s a fish, a manatee, or just something fun in the air, if your dog is the excited, curious type who isn’t going to lie down next to you during the trip, then keep him on a leash.
- Prepare for Poop – There’s nowhere for your dog to use the bathroom on a boat, and there’s something about the movement of boats that makes dogs want to go. So make sure you bring waste bags, paper towels, and some odor neutralizing spray.