Doggie Paddle Tips

Jumping into the water is a great way for your dog to cool off, especially on hot, steamy days. Swimming can also be a great everyday activity, since it's easy on the joints, but never force it on your pup if she isn't a fan of the water. If he is, always be cautious of water quality, and don't let him drink from the pool, lake, stream, or ocean. Swallowing too much salt water or chlorine can very quickly make your dog sick. Keep a close eye on him while he's paddling around, and help him steer clear of deep waters and strong currents.
5 Dog Water Safety Tips

1. Buy your dog a life jacket - not all dogs are natural swimmers and older and young puppies can tire quickly, the weight of a water logged thick and/or long coat can easily drag your dog under water, your dog can be knocked over by breaking waves, if your dog jumps into the river he may not be able to get again if the bank is too slippery.
Like people, dogs can quickly get into trouble and if you are not there to help, may easily drown. By using a doggy life jacket when your dog's around water you are buying him extra time should he get into trouble and need rescuing - it just makes sense.

2. Watch what your dog drinks - water in lakes, stagnant ponds and slow moving rivers can contain algae and parasites which, if ingested by your dog, can cause vomiting, diarrhea and in some instances death.
Swimming pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals which can make your dog sick if he drinks the water.
Always keep plenty of fresh water with you, and teach your dog to drink out of a water bottle so you don't need to carry a bowl with you all the time!

3. Think dog - whether you are at the beach or at home, look out for potential hazards in advance and supervise your dog at all times. For example:
  • don't let your dog swim in places where there are strong undercurrents;
  • look out for sharp rocks and shells just under the water surface that he might cut his paws on;
  • check for steep muddy riverbanks that might prevent him from getting out of the water, particularly if he's tired;
  • if the water is cold your dog could be at risk from hypothermia; and
  • swimming pools and spa pools should be covered or fenced off at all times.
4. Rinse and dry after swimming - after you dog has finished swimming and playing in the water rinse his coat thoroughly to remove salt, chemicals and debris form his coat. Make sure his ears are dry too to reduce the risk of dog ear infections - damp ears are a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast spores.

5. Heat can kill - in summer remember that the heat from the sun is more intense around water. Watch your dog for signs of sunburn and heat stroke, and keep him off hot sand as this can blister his paws.