Do you enjoy swimming? Many of our canine companions love to splash and swim. Others? Not so much. Regardless of whether your pooch acts like a furry, four-legged duck near water, or is a bit more hesitant, you’ll need to take some precautions to keep him safe. Read on for some tips from a Brampton, ON vet on keeping Fido safe when swimming.
Just like our hands and feet, Fido’s paw pads get quite delicate when they are wet. Your pooch will be extra susceptible to getting cuts and abrasions after he has gotten out of the water. Try to keep him on soft grass after he’s gone swimming. Paw balm will also help.
If you take Fido to a pool, the first thing that you would want to do is show him where the stairs are, so he can get out again if he were to fall in. This isn’t something you want to show your canine pal once: spend some time on this, and test him a bit. His life could depend on it!
If you are taking Fido to a lake or swimming hole, be sure to choose one that is dog-friendly. This is important for both legality and safety reasons. Dog-friendly spots are less likely to have strong currents, steep drop-offs, or other features that could endanger Fido.
Some dogs just really aren’t cut out for swimming. Small breeds, brachys, seniors, puppies, and pregnant dogs are better off in kiddie pools.
If Fido can’t swim well (or at all) you’ll want to keep a doggy lifejacket on him. Better safe than sorry!
If your canine buddy can’t swim, take time to teach him. Hold Fido as he is learning, and encourage him with praise to keep the experience positive. (Treats can come later, once your pooch has all four paws on solid ground.)
Pool covers can also be a hazard. Dogs sometimes don’t realize they aren’t solid. Fido could fall in if he tried to walk on one!
It’s probably not a life-threatening emergency if Fido laps up a sip of pool water, but try to avoid this. Chlorine is definitely not part of his recommended diet! Make sure he always has plenty of fresh water.
As your local Brampton, ON animal clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care. Call us anytime!