Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Warm weather often means spending more time near the water. It’s natural that you may want to bring your dog along for the fun. When you’re ready to head out for a day in the water, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Remember that not all dogs can swim, and not all those that can swim enjoy doing so. Let your dog lead when it comes to getting into the water- you don’t want to force them into it. 
  2. Keep an eye on them as they swim. Even dogs that love swimming may get worn out by paddling around for too long.
  3. If you are going out on a boat with your dog, you may want to invest in a life jacket for them. Make sure it is fitted properly—a loose or unstrapped life jacket won’t help if your dog is struggling.
  4. Don’t let your dog drink lake, river, pool, or ocean water. While the fresh water from a lake or river may seem ok, there may be high bacteria counts or algae blooms that you cannot see. It’s best to bring along fresh water that your dog can drink.
  5. Watch for riptides/high waves at beach. Even when waters look calm, there may be a riptide that could pull your dog out.
  6. Remember that swimming can be strenuous, especially on hot days! Give your dog breaks in the shade so they can relax and recharge.
  7. Wash your dog after their swim. Chlorine and salt can be irritating on your dog’s skin, so give them a good rinse off after their swim.