Dogs and water – The dos and don’ts
Summer is a great time to get wet and your dog will no doubt love the opportunity too, but there are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to keeping your dog safe around water.
Here’s a heads up on the dos and don’ts you should be thinking about this summer when it comes to your dog and water.
Keep a freshwater supply – First and foremost, you need to give your dog careful consideration when it comes to keeping him hydrated during the warmer weather. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
Be aware of the type of water your dog is swimming in – Lakes, rivers, pools and the sea can contain stagnant, polluted or treated water that if ingested by your dog can make them ill, so be mindful of the type of water your dog is playing in. A summer hazard which can make your dog very seriously ill is Blue-Green Algae tends to flourish slightly later on in the season – but it will affect many ponds.
Clean your dog after a swim – Regardless the type of water your dog is playing in, its good practice to rinse your dog down with clean water after a swim and give them a dry off, paying close attention to the ears to reduce the chances of ear infections.
Keep an eye on your dog’s stamina – Your four-legged friend will inevitably be eager to play regardless of how tired he feels. But in and around water you should watch their stamina levels, particularly with older dogs, and give them plenty of time to rest between playing.
Force your dog into the water – While some dogs thrive in water and love nothing more than thrashing around in it, not all do and despite your best encouragement they may never like water. You should never force your dog to go in the water and also never assume that they can swim.
Leave your dog unattended near water – Under no circumstances should you let your dog out of your sight when you’re near water. This is particularly pertinent, if they’re swimming in the water, as they can easily tire or get into difficulties.
Ignore warning signs – In most areas with water, such as beaches and swimming lakes there will be warning notices in place to alert you of strong currents and tides, crumbling river banks, extreme weather warnings or other danger areas. Always lookout for these signs before you let your dog loose in the water.
Ultimately keeping your dog safe around water is about being sensible, responsible and aware. If you know there’s a strong current, deep water or sliding river banks, keep your dog on a lead to stop them from going in. They can still have plenty of fun out of the water and enjoy it another time when it’s safe.