6 tips for pet safety on the water
A day on (or near) the water is fun for the whole family, your dogs included. But before you take your pup out for a paddle, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Start slow. Not all dogs are built for swimming, and puppies aren’t born knowing how to swim. Introduce your pet to the water slowly, starting in shallow water. Never throw or force an animal in.
- When playing by a lake or river, check the surroundings before you let your pet roam. Be on the lookout for broken glass, fishing line, algae scum, and underwater currents.
- Pool safety. Provide a ramp or slanted ladder and teach your dog how to climb out of the pool on its own. For small breeds or aging dogs who could fall in accidentally, you might invest in a Safety Turtle— a loud, water-activated alarm your pet can wear on its collar.
- Get a dog life vest before your next boat or canoe trip. Remember, accidents do happen! Look for a preserver with a good, sturdy handle on the back. That makes it a lot easier to lift a heavy, water-logged, wiggling dog back into a boat.
- Swimming can be exhausting. It’s up to you to call an end to playtime and help your pet avoid overexertion. Keep alert when visiting children are playing with your pet. They should respect that your pooch may need more breaks than they do.
- Dogs can get sunburn too — particularly thin-haired breeds. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin and the bridge of the nose. Get a specially formulated pet sunscreen or look for one without zinc oxide, which is toxic to dogs.
Next time you head to a beach, stream, or pool, be sure to take this knowledge with you to keep your furry friends safe on the water.