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Pet Summer Swimming Safety

August 2, 2019

Summer is a great time to spend quality time with your pet. And most dogs enjoy a swim whether it’s in the backyard pool, in a river or lake or at the beach. Here are a few tips to make sure that your summer swims stay fun:

 

  • Not every dog is a natural swimmer. Not all dogs are good swimmers and some breeds like the bulldog may even drown if left unsupervised around a pool. Make sure your pup tries out the water safely the first few times and for some dogs, a safety flotation vest is a good idea as waves can overwhelm a small dog. If your dog needs help learning, find a trainer that offers swim lessons for dogs.

  • Check the quality of the water. Many dogs die each year from swimming in contaminated water that harbors blue-green algae, dangerous bacteria or chemical contaminants. Avoid our San Diego beach and bay water after rainstorms as runoff from streets and sewers can make your dog sick.

  • Just because your dog loves to swim does not mean he/she always should. Some dogs are so relentless about fetching items in water that they may venture out farther than their physical stamina can handle. Don’t throw balls out very far into the water or call back your dog if he/she is heading too far into deep water. Make sure your dog takes frequent breaks to rest up from all the fun.

  • Exercise care with elderly dogs or dogs with vision or arthritic conditions that might make them less capable in a backyard pool. Beaches provide a nice gradual exit ramp that are sometimes not available in a backyard pool. Keep an eye on your pet even when there are lots of people around.

  • Keep an eye open for Water Intoxication. Drinking too much whether ingested from swimming or playing in a sprinkler causes electrolyte levels to drop, thinning blood plasma and leading to swelling of the brain and other organs. Water intoxication progresses quickly. Symptoms include lack of coordination, lethargy, nausea, bloating, vomiting, dilated pupils, glazed eyes, light gum color, and excessive salivation. Advanced symptoms include difficulty breathing, collapsing, loss of consciousness, and seizures. If you see any of these signs, rush to the vet!

Have a fun and safe summer and enjoy the water safely!

Read further at WebVet on safe water fun.

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