Many dogs love water! While it may not be for every dog, you and your pet may love going to the lake or beach together. It can be fun and freeing for both of you. Though it is a great time to have dogs around water, it is important to practice proper water safety. If you do not use proper water safety techniques, it could be harmful for your dog, yourself, or another person or animal. Before you take your dog to a public beach, familiarize yourself with the area’s regulations and laws. Avoiding legal trouble is a good way to start having fun at the water!
General Safety Procedures
Before you take your dog to the water, make sure you know some safety guidelines to follow.
Letting your dog off-leash
Letting your dog off-leash can be dangerous if your dog is not properly trained. Even if the area is not next to a busy road, if your dog gets too far away from you, it may be difficult to get him or her to come back to you, and you may lose track of your pup. This can be particularly dangerous if neither you or your dog knows the area well. If you are unsure if your dog will stay near you or come when called, keep him restrained or at home. You may be sad to have some fun by the lake or pool without your pooch, but it is not worth the risk of his safety. If your dog is not appropriately trained, it may also be dangerous for other people and animals. If you do not have complete control over your dog, you may be caught in a bad situation. Even if you know your furry friend is good with other dogs, another dog may not be. If a dog approaches another, there could be a fight or another issue. The same applies to people. Your dog may be friendly, but another beach-goer might not like dogs. Before you take your dog off his leash, try out some secure situations, such as at a dog park, to make sure you can control your dog with distractions.
When your dog is first learning to swim choose a quiet and shallow spot. Leave the leash on him while he learns so you can have control and so he or she will stay close. Make sure to get in the water while he or she is learning to ensure safety and bring comfort to your dog. When your dog starts paddling with his front paws, lift his back legs so he can learn to float. Most importantly, do not force your dog to swim or go into the water if he or she does not want to. You cannot force your dog to have fun in the water. If your dog does not want to swim, just let him enjoy your company and the beach. A dog does not have to be in the water to have fun outside. Bring a ball or toy with you which he can play with if they do not want to swim.
If you own a pool
Pool-time can be fun for your pup! But in addition to the safety precautions you should utilize when playing in the water, there are precautions to take when you are not using the pool as well. Keep a fence around your pool so your dog can be safe when you aren’t using it. Keep a sturdy cover on the pool that allows rainwater through. It is dangerous for the dog in the pool, and he can also drown if rainwater collects on the cover. Show your dog the proper ways to get in and out of the water, and make sure to check the temperature on the water before he gets in. Some breeds cannot handle cold water.
Keep these tips in mind when taking your dog to enjoy the water with you, especially when it is his first time. If you are planning a beach trip and your dog is not properly trained, contact us today so we can help make sure the experience is safe and fun for both of you!