There is nothing quite so wonderful as relaxing on the water with your dog by your side. Lakes, pools, and oceans are a great way to pass the time during the dog days of summer. However, before you head out, let’s take a careful look at water safety and your pets.
Swimming with Pets
There’s an assumption that all animals are adept at swimming, but nothing could be further from the truth. Some animals, such as brachycephalic breeds, are not suited for swimming, while other pets just really don’t like it.
Before you allow your dog to dive into the deep end of the pool, get to know how comfortable he is with water and how easily he can adapt to the conditions at hand. Once your pet is ready to get into the water, keep the following pet swimming tips in mind:
- Always supervise your pet around water, including the backyard pool
- Get a fitted pet flotation device for your pet’s size (even if your pet is a pro swimmer) and keep it on at all times, both in the water and on the boat
- Consider installing a fence and/or alarm around the pool (to alert you of an unexpected fall into the water)
- Install a ramp that is designed for animals – Accidental drownings are often a result of falling into a pool without an escape
- When out on a lake or the ocean, stay close to your pet and make sure to get him out of the water when he becomes tired
- Never let your pet swim in rapids or waves
Parasites Among Us
While keeping your pet safe from accidental drowning is of paramount importance, there is also a hidden enemy among us – Parasites. Standing water invites several different parasitic organisms and bacteria, many of which can be quite serious threats to pets (and people).
Because most of us don’t think twice about letting Rover jump into the occasional stream or lake, waterborne illnesses are becoming more prevalent than ever before. From giardia to leptospirosis, many bacterium families and microscopic parasites that pose a threat to your pet’s health can be found in “wild” water.
To protect your pet:
- Talk to your vet at Long Animal Hospital about which vaccines or parasite prevention you might need for your pet when recreating in the great outdoors
- Dissuade your dogs from ingesting water from lakes, streams, oceans, and puddles by bringing along fresh water and a bowl
- Keep away from brackish or stagnant water sources
- Do not allow your pet to drink saltwater
- Keep an eye on your pet when around water, especially when off-leash
Water Safety and Your Pets
While outdoor water and pets can go hand-in-hand, you will be doing a great service to your pets by being water savvy and aware of the risks. If we can answer any questions about safety and health when it comes to your furry friends, please contact us.