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Water Safety for Your Pet | Families

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Water Safety for Your Pet
Water Safety for Your Pet
Tips for Swimming Safely With Your Pet

Pools

If your dog will be swimming in a pool, make sure he or she does so under constant supervision. Never leave your pet unattended in a pool, no matter how skilled a swimmer you think he or she is. Consider installing a pool ramp so that you can train your dog to climb in and out of the pool when necessary. Otherwise, you can teach your dog to enter and exit the pool via the steps rather than jump in from the side of the pool. Don’t let your dog drink from the pool because the chemicals and chlorine can make him or her sick and/or irritate the eyes. An occasional drink likely won’t hurt but the amount of chlorine (and algaecides, possibly) in pool water is much higher than that in drinking water. Regular drinking of pool water should be avoided to play it safe. To get really sick (difficulty breathing; vomiting; painful/irritated gut; eyes, nose and mouth sores) the dog would have to ingest a lot of chlorine. Eye, nose and skin irritation (red, dry, sore) can also occur with exposure to the water, as they do in humans. This type of exposure irritation is probably more common than excess chlorine ingestion.

If you and your children want to swim with your dog, you should do so at a safe distance to avoid getting scratched or pulled under. You should be concerned with the safety of everyone when multiple dogs and children are in the water as it’s hard to keep an eye on everyone at the same time.

As far as pool toys, there are specific water toys for dogs that they can chase after and retrieve. These are often used as training tools for events and agility sports. Which water toy you choose depends on the size of your dog and the materials used to make it.

Pool toys should be viewed no differently than other toys. With chewing and swallowing there’s a choking hazard and potential for gastrointestinal foreign body resulting with the ingestion of pieces. There may also be potential for problems with toxicity, depending on what the toy is made of.

Fence your pool with a secure gate and supervise your dog when he or she is inside that fenced area.

Lakes and Rivers

For breeds that love the water and are more adept at swimming, such as Labs, you should teach your dog to return to you on command so he or she doesn’t swim too far away and suffer from exhaustion. As always, make sure any water source in which your dog swims is clean and relatively fresh, as dogs are apt to play in and drink the water at the same time. Clean, fresh water might include nonpolluted running streams, rivers or lakes; nonstagnant kiddie or swimming pools. Avoid anything stagnant/slow moving, where there’s algae growing or if the water is smelly (from too much chlorine or fecal contamination). In lakes and river, Giardia is a common parasite that can cause severe cramping and diarrhea. Cryptosporidium, also found in water, is another parasite that causes similar illness. Parks, golf courses and subdivisions with ponds/lakes may contain fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or chemicals used to prevent algae. In addition, if your dog will be swimming in an area accessible by motorboats, there might be higher concentrations of motor oil in the water. Even if your pet is spending a lot of time in a lake or river, it is important to provide fresh, drinking water to keep him or her well hydrated.

Depending on the water conditions and its temperature, your dog could become exhausted or too cold for its safety. You might need to insist your happy swimmer take a time out to rest and warm up. This is especially true for dogs with coats not made for spending long periods of time in the water. Again, make sure your best friend is wearing a proper flotation device, which can be purchased at your local pet store.

Keeping your dog safe in the water

If your dog will be taking a dip in the water to stay cool this summer, there are a few precautions to take so that it stays safe and healthy. While many dogs love to swim, not all dogs are great swimmers. Senior dogs, small-breed dogs, puppies, dogs with short legs and double coated dogs are all considered to be less than ideal swimmers. Also, certain breeds of dogs don’t swim as well as others – Pugs and Basset Hounds are two examples. With these types of breeds, it is recommended that you use a lifejacket or flotation device, especially if you plan to take your dog on a boat where the water tends to be deeper than at the shore.

Thanks www.banfield.com for the information!

For some pet pool products, visit www.poolcenter.com.

Also check out our other articles about keeping your pet safe during the summer heat and traveling!

Summer Safety Tips http://sandersville.13wmaz.com/news/families/summer-safety-tips-pets/54606

Tips for Traveling with Your Pet http://sandersville.13wmaz.com/news/families/tips-traveling-your-pet/53458

Hot Weather Tips http://sandersville.13wmaz.com/news/families/hot-weather-tips-your-furry-friend/53455

 

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