dog swimming

Water safety for your dog

To walk your dog with love and safe around water, it is critical to use caution while near any body of water, including the sea, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and swimming pools. Here are some helpful hints to keep your dog safe:

Is your dog able to swim?

Swimming can be an excellent form of exercise for dogs, especially those with tight or sore joints. In hot weather, heading to the water may also help dogs cool off. Not every dog likes the water. Swimming is difficult for dogs with short legs, such as Corgis, or small noses, such as Pugs. Even dogs who are built for swimming may not love being pushed out of their comfort zone.

Even if your dog appears to be interested, it will need to learn how to swim. You may teach them to enjoy the water by doing the following:

  • Take it slowly at first, and stay in a shallow area.
  • Make swimming in the shallows exciting for your dog by providing toys and rewards.
  • Encourage your dog to start paddling after he or she has gained confidence.
  • Support them beneath their tummy with your arm until they've mastered kicking with all four legs.
  • Encourage your dog to return to the shore after a few minutes so they know how to get out of the water when they're ready.
  • Even if your pet is a great swimmer, never leave them unsupervised near water.

Do not force them to do anything they do not want to do, and let them to explore the water at their own speed. If your dog decides swimming is not for them, that's great; there are lots of other activities for them to exercise and cool off!

Dealing with a water emergency

If your dog, or anybody else's, gets into difficulty in the water, resist the urge to go in after them. Instead, dial 999 for expert assistance.

Every year, individuals are killed while attempting to save their pets. Dogs may frequently get themselves out of perilous circumstances, and chasing them puts you in risk as well.

Choosing the right swimming spot

Some swimming holes are far safer than others. Choose your location carefully to ensure your dog's safety:

  • Lakes are ideal for swimming. These are usually tranquil, with lots of safe, shallow spots for your dog to swim in. Take caution if there is anything in the water, such as large tree branches, that your dog might become entangled in. It's also necessary to be cautious of other water users, such as sail and motor boats or windsurfers. Larger lakes may have dedicated swimming areas. Stick to these locations and make sure your dog is welcome.
  • Swimming in the sea. On a bright day, dog-friendly beaches may make excellent swimming sites. Before allowing your dog to swim, make sure the sea conditions are safe. Look for warning flags and signs, as well as the size of the waves and tide times. Learn more about beach safety and sea swimming.
  • Small rivers. Shallow, slow-moving rivers might provide a safe swimming area for your dog. Examine the water for any hazards, such as fallen tree branches. Check your dog's recall; you don't want them clambering out on the other bank where you can't follow them! Reward-based training might assist your dog in developing superior memory abilities.

Swimming areas to avoid:

  • Canals should be avoided. The water in canals is frequently stagnant, which might be hazardous to your dog's health. There are other perils lying beneath the water, such as trash and waste.
  • Reservoirs. Reservoirs may appear to be inviting places to swim, but they are actually full of hidden risks. The water has powerful currents and there are frequently concealed items beneath the surface. Reservoirs are also often quite deep, so even on a hot day, the water is extremely chilly. It can cause shock in your dog's body, forcing them to gasp and swallow water if they plunge right in.
  • Rapidly moving or inundated rivers. Any fast-flowing water is hazardous to your dog. Currents may easily get them into danger and lead them to struggle to reach the shore. Flood water is especially dangerous since it is frequently littered with debris that might damage your dog.
  • Rough seas. Large, breaking waves and powerful currents endanger your dog. When the water is harsh, stormy, or swimming is prohibited, don't let them go in.

Is it possible for my dog to become sick from swimming?

Some illnesses and toxins can damage your dog if they've been swimming. You can help keep your dog safe by choosing a good swimming site and keeping up with their vaccinations:

  • Leptospirosis. This is an ailment that is spread via rat faeces and polluted water. There is a vaccination available to prevent your dog from leptospirosis; keep track of your dog's boosters, especially if they are an avid swimmer. Avoiding stagnant water and canals can also help to lessen the danger.
  • Blue-green algae. This algae develops in stagnant water and appears on the surface as a blue-green sheen. It is extremely poisonous to dogs, and even a tiny amount can cause significant illness. Do not let them to swim or drink from any body of water that has blue-green algae. If you are concerned that they have come into contact with the algae, do not allow them to lick their fur and contact your veterinarian immediately.
    If your dog has gone swimming somewhere, it's a good idea to give them a nice bath when they arrive home. This will rid their fur of any contaminants they may have picked up in the water.

Walk your dog with love safely and have fun in the water.

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