Many families spend lots of time and money teaching their children to swim but seem to forget about the family dog. It seems like this should not to be too important but over 40 thousand pets drowned each year. Most of these deaths could be prevented by taking a proactive approach to training your pet and being aware of your pet’s ability to swim and other factors.
During the summer months it is very popular to wade in creek, ponds, lakes, bays, oceans and even sprinklers but you should be aware of your pets fatigue level. A good game of fetch sounds like fun but if your dog is tired they may find themselves in over their head and unable to paddle to shore. This can be especially true for stocky dogs with short legs that have to churn more water to stay afloat and are therefore less buoyant.
Another problem is pools. “I think there is a presumption that all dogs can swim and that it’s very safe to be around water. With proper precautions that can be absolutely true,” said Romy Core, owner of Gully Park Animal Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas, “Sometimes pets don’t know how to get out and they can easily get exhausted. In a lot of ways it’s just like teaching your kids, like taking proper precautions.”
If you own a pool you may want to consider swimming lessons for your dog. There are some veterinarians that actually offer dog swimming classes like Romy Core, who feels it is essential for the safety of your pet. These classes teach your dog to know where the stairs are to get in and out of the pool. Knowing where to find the exit is critical in any emergency situation.
Another consideration before taking your pet into the water is to know how safe the conditions of the water truly are. All Pet News reported earlier about the dangers of toxic algae and to take precautions by knowing the conditions before entering the water or allowing your pet enter the water in a potentially dangerous situation. For more information, refer to the article by clicking here.
There are lots of safe and fun ways to enjoy the water this summer with your pets. Keeping your pet well supervised is important when around water and you should consider fencing off your pool to keep your pet and neighborhood children safe. You may consider using a life jacket designed for dogs especially if you are going to be in deeper water. This will help your dog if they get fatigued trying to get back to the boat or kayak. Be aware of the risks to your pet and enjoy all that summer has to offer.