Summer isn’t far off now! Lots of people enjoy cooling off with a dip on hot days. Many of our canine pals also enjoy swimming. Just be sure to put safety first! A Covington, GA vet discusses taking Fido swimming in this article.
Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Even learning the doggy paddle is a struggle for some pups! If Fido doesn’t know how to swim, take time to teach him. Gently support him as he is learning, and encourage him with praise.
Fido should have his own little beach bag. You’ll want to put some pet sunscreen in it, along with paw balm. It’s also a good idea to have a towel in there for your pup to lie on. Some other things to include are collapsible dishes, a first aid kit, waste baggies, and treats. If your dog isn’t a good swimmer, bring a lifejacket for him.
Whenever you take Fido to a pool, immediately show him where the steps are. Your canine buddy could be in serious danger if he falls in and can’t get back out! Dogs often panic very quickly in these situations. We also recommend putting a visual marker, like a potted tree, near the pool stairs.
If you have an above-ground pool, you may want to get pet stairs. These are easier for dogs to manage then regular stairs. We also recommend keeping the pool fenced off when it isn’t in use, just as you would with a toddler. This goes double for those with pool covers. These are dangerous because dogs often mistake them for solid surfaces, and try to walk over them.
There are some other concerns if you are taking Fido to the beach. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are two things to be concerned with. Dogs get hot and tired very quickly when they are running or playing on hot sand. Make sure you bring lots of water! Also, keep an eye on the ground. Your pooch could cut his paw on sharp rocks, shells, or broken glass. Last but not least, avoid beaches with heavy wakes, riptides, or steep drop-offs.
Lakes can also be dangerous. Gators and snakes are, of course, a major threat here. Only bring Fido to safe, dog-friendly swimming holes.
Please contact us, your Covington, GA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!