By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.
When the whole family is out enjoying water activities, be sure to consider the safety and well-being of your pets as well!
If you have a pool or your pet spends time near a pool, there are many safety guidelines you should consider. First, do not assume your pet can swim. If you have a new pet that will have access to the pool, you should start with supervised pool time to make sure they can swim. Also, many pets know how to swim but cannot find their way out of the pool safely, especially puppies, small dogs, and breeds with short legs. While training your pets, teach them how to walk out of the pool and where the stairs are located. Also, make sure your pet has access to fresh water outside to avoid drinking large amounts of pool water.
There are many fun, dog friendly spots on San Diego's beaches. If you and your canine plan to partake in the fun, make sure you are doing it safely. Pet should have access to somewhere they can rest as well as fresh water. If your pet is still learning to swim, avoid areas with waves in favor of shallower areas with calmer water such as bays. If you plan to take your pet into deeper water on a paddle board, kayak or boat, make sure she has a life jacket to ensure a safe and easy rescue if she gets over-excited at sea. If your pet is going into the water, watch out for rip currents and strong waves. Even experienced doggy swimmers can need help, so always supervise your pet at the beach.