Swimming Safety for Dogs

Do you plan to take your pooch to a beach, pool, or lake this year? Just like people, dogs often love to cool off on hot days by taking a dip. The water can be dangerous for Man’s Best Friend, however, so be sure to put Fido’s safety first. A Lafayette, LA vet offers tips on swim safety for dogs in this article.

Swim Lessons

Some of our canine buddies are natural swimmers, who will take to the water like furry, lovable ducks. Others need to be taught how to swim. If your four-legged pal falls into the latter category, take time to teach him. Don’t just toss Fido into the water: even if he figures out the doggy paddle, he may be so frightened by the experience that he develops a fear of water. Support your pooch as he is learning, and offer him lots of praise and (after he’s out of the water) treats.

Pool Safety

When you take Fido to a pool, the first thing you should do is show him where the exit is. Don’t just show him once: take a little time, and make sure he remembers. That way, if he ever falls in, he’ll be able to get out again. If you have both a dog and a pool, use the same precautions you would with a toddler. Keep the pool area gated when it isn’t in use, and don’t let him overexert himself.

Paw Control

Doggy paw pads are very sensitive, especially when they are wet. You may be surprised at how fast Fido can get blisters from running on hot or harsh surfaces after going swimming! Keep your furry pal on soft surfaces as much as possible, and use paw balm or wax to protect his feet.


Dogs can get thirsty very quickly in hot weather. Fido may be tempted to drink from a pool or lake. Make sure your pup has plenty of fresh water, and try not to let him drink from unknown sources.

Basic Safety

Never leave your pet unattended near water. Also, avoid taking him to areas with heavy currents or a lot of wakes. Basic training is also important. Make sure Fido knows—and obeys—simple commands like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down.

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