Do All Dogs Know How to Swim – Water Safety Tips for Dogs

As a responsible pet parent you may assume that your dog instinctively knows how to swim yet that is not always true. Most will attempt to do so although some breeds may seem to be “top heavy” and sink like a brick. On the other hand, even if your dog does know how to swim, things can still go terribly wrong, subjecting your dog to swallowing water, panicking and drowning, just as a human would. If you have a dog that does or does not love the water, be sure you know the water safety tips to keep your dog safe.

Be aware that a dog can actually drown in a lake or pool just as a human. It is acceptable to let your dog go for a swim or chase a ball or stick into the water. Be sure you take frequent breaks so the dog can catch its breath and have the energy and lung capacity to swim back during a game of fetch.

When dealing with the older dogs, be aware that, even though they may seem to be excellent swimmers, they do tire more easily, just like you and I in our “tender years.” When you notice your dog getting exhausted, finding it difficult to keep the head above water, by all means, get your pooch out of the water and take a much needed break.

If you have a home pool, your dog should be monitored at all times. Just like children should not have access to the pool while unattended, neither should your pet. You should have the pool completely gated off or the ladder pulled up when you are not monitoring the situation. If your dog loves water, gets inquisitive and goes for a swim without your knowledge, serious things can happen. Your dog may not find a way out and panic, a first step to drowning. Covered or uncovered, the pool is off-limits to uninvited guests for safety reasons.

Aside from the usual swimming safety tips, there are other things to be aware of regarding water and your inquisitive pup. Be aware of any stagnant water and keep your dog away. For one thing, old stagnant water may form algae, especially the blue-green algae which is very dangerous if ingested – causing serious rapid illness or even death. Never allow your dog to drink from puddles of any type outside and try to keep your yard free from such “invites” to your pet. In public areas, the stagnant water can also contain car chemicals such as oil and anti-freeze, both dangerous to pets as well. The best safety tip – only let your dog drink water that you provide which is clean and safe.

It is perfectly fine for your dog to love the water but just as for you and your children, there are safety tips that should be followed in order to keep your dog safe and healthy – in and out of the water.

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