Water Safety Tips

Written by

Keep your dog safe around water this summer.

Summer is here, and that means that many of us head to the lake, the beach, or just relax by the pool. Before you go, be sure to check out our important tips you need to know to keep your pets safe around the water.

The most important thing to remember is that not all dogs are great swimmers and are at greater risk of drowning! You never want to leave your dog unattended by any body of water…never assume your dog will be fine. Swimming is also very tiring, so be sure to give your dog plenty of breaks and rest periods (preferably in the shade).

This may seem counter-intuitive, but before your dog gets in the water take off their collar. This will keep them from getting snagged or caught on underwater plants or branches.

Look for hazards around where your dog will be swimming. One of the most important things to be aware of is blue-green algae. This is algae that forms on or near bodies of water during the warm weather months. It can be found in ponds and lakes, fresh water, backyard fountains, or even on rocks. Blue-green algae is toxic and is most often fatal. Visit the ASPCA website to learn more about blue-green algae, its symptoms, and what to look out for in the water.

Heatstroke is a real thing in dogs. High temperatures can put them at risk, which is why you should learn about the signs of heatstroke and how to care for your pet if you suspect they have it. The American Kennel Club has a great article to help you spot heat stroke in your pet.

Other things to consider:

  • Always watch your dog for signs of sunburn.
  • Consider buying your dog a lifejacket, especially if you plan on taking your dog boating…a dog overboard can quickly get lost in the waves. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, there could be a strong current and your dog could quickly tire when trying to swim to safety.
  • Like concrete sidewalks, sand can get very hot and can blister their paws. Check the sand before letting your dog walk on it.
  • Always have fresh water for them to drink! Chemicals in pools or fountains, and parasites in lakes can lead to upset stomachs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Rinse them with fresh water after swimming to remove any pool chemicals or bacteria found in ponds and lakes.

Follow these steps and you’re on your way to having a safe and fun time with your pup this summer!

Last modified: July 1, 2024