Six water safety tips to protect your dog

By: DogTrekker Staff
A brown dachshund in a yellow life jacket stands at the forefront, gazing directly into the camera. In the blurred background, two people are rowing a boat on a lake encircled by thick, green forest. The dog takes center stage, highlighting the importance of water safety for pets while still capturing an active outdoor scene.

Plenty of dog breeds love swimming, splashing and playing fetch on the beach, especially on hot summer afternoons. By following a few simple safety guidelines – and going slowly with dogs that seem uncomfortable in the water – you’ll create a better experience for pets and the people who follow.

Playing in the water can help keep pups cool, get great exercise, and burn off a little extra energy. Whether your dog dives happily into the nearest lake or seems hesitant to dip paws into the waves, you can set four-legged friends up for success throughout your summer travels. 

Here are six tips for smoother splashing with your pup:

1. When dogs are new to the lake lifestyle, keep them leashed and stick to shallow areas as they get used to being in the water. Never force a panicky pup into the waves.

2. If you’ll be boating or playing near deep water, outfit your dog with a canine flotation vest. A bright-colored doggie life jacket adds an extra layer of security and makes pets easier to spot if they fall from a vessel.

3. Start with short boating trips to make sure your dog is comfortable with the rocking motion of a vessel. If you’re paddling or canoeing, choose wide, stable equipment with adequate space for four-legged friends. Catch-A-Canoe at Mendocino’s Stanford Inn has a great selection of very stable outrigger canoes. 

4. If you’ll be swimming in lakes or streams with standing water, protect your dog from harmful bacteria with a leptospirosis vaccination. And keep your dog from drinking water with blue-green algae, which might contain bacteria that’s toxic to dogs. 

5. If possible, avoid boisterous crowds and loud motorboats that might distract or scare your dog.

6. Try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, since chlorine can cause an upset stomach. It might also trigger itchiness or red eyes.

Last updated on June 26, 2024.

 

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