Canine Water Safety, Pool Rules, and Beach Tips

A cool dip in the swimming pool under a hot summer sun is definitely one of life’s greatest pleasures. There’s nothing more refreshing and fun for humans and dogs alike than a splash in the water when temperatures soar. But while water games can be fun, we must remember water safety rules to prevent accidents.


Teaching Your Dog to Swim

Some dogs love the water and seem to have an instinct for swimming but many dogs, such as Bassets and Pugs, don’t swim very well. In fact, some dogs hate the water. If your dog is one of these, respect his feelings.

Never toss a dog into water. Start slowly in shallow water and coax him in with toys or treats. Don’t allow him to get in deeper than he can handle. Sometimes a dog will follow the example of a doggy pal who loves to swim.

Realize that puppies may panic in water.


Swimming Pool Safety

Pools should be fenced, including a gate that automatically closes and latches.

Pools should have an escape tool so that a child or animal can climb out to safety.

Never allow your dog in the pool area unattended.

Do not allow your dog to drink pool water as the chlorine can make him sick. It can also irritate his eyes.

Put a flotation device on your dog for swimming.

When the pool is not in use, make sure the cover is firmly in place to prevent your dog from slipping under.

Watch for algae scum in any body of water as it can be toxic for dogs.

Learn pet first-aid and CPR. Click here for Canine CPR video.




Beach Tips

Put a flotation device on your dog when swimming or boating.

Be aware of strong tides and undercurrents that can pull your dog out to sea quickly.

Be very cautious of unfamiliar rivers or lakes.

Teach your dog to come on command, even in water. This may prevent him from drifting too far.

Don’t allow your dog to become overly tired in the water. Remember that older dogs do not have the agility and en-durance they once had.

Be aware of sea lice and jellyfish that can harm your dog. Sea lice can cause itchy red bumps on dogs.

Limit your dog’s time in direct sun. Heatstroke and sunburn can be a risk. Apply sunscreen to your dog’s nose and ears.

Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink. Do not allow him to drink sea water because the salt can make him sick.

While beachcombing, check your dog’s feet for irritation from the hot sand.

Rinse the saltwater and sand from your dog’s coat when you leave


Kiddie Pools

Kiddie pools, and even sprinklers, can be a safer method of water play for older dogs or breeds that do not swim well. Simply wading or splashing provides cool fun but even these should be supervised. Remember to keep kiddie pools clean to prevent mosquito and toxic algae growth.