One of the easiest ways to combat a heat wave is to simply get wet. This might take some of us out of our comfort zone (that is, a nice air conditioned environment), but the bottom line is that splashing around is not only effective, it’s fun, too! Chances are, your pet agrees with the fun factor. You want to make them happy and comfortable, but water safety for pets absolutely must be enforced.
There are quite a few precautions when it comes to summer in general. We recommend scheduling your pet’s wellness care exam before any upcoming adventures to ascertain the quality of their overall health. If they aren’t fully vaccinated yet or microchipped, these help protect them from unseen dangers this summer.
A great protective measure against the threat to water safety for pets is acquiring the right gear. Investing in a doggie life jacket, or personal flotation device (PFD), is a terrific idea. You can depend on the PFD to help keep your pup afloat, but they also come with handles to help you lift them out of the water, if necessary. This is an absolute must for any dog that frequents the water.
Teaching your dog to swim might seem like a reach, as many dogs are natural swimmers. Others need a bit of encouragement. Always be sure that your dog knows:
- How to safely enter and exit any body of water
- That you are with them, and can help if needed
- They don’t have to go swimming if they don’t want to
- To stop and get out when they are tired
- Not to drink the water they’re swimming in
Water Safety for Pets
A thorough understanding of pet water safety will guide your success this summer. It is most important to keep your pet hydrated. As with any physical activity, bring along fresh, clean water for your pet to drink. Also:
- Stay away from algae-filled or brackish water.
- Be watchful of anglers nearby, hooks on the beach, broken glass, and fishing line.
- Do not let your dog eat dead fish or other marine life.
- Watch the weather and be prepared if the wind picks up.
- Strong currents and riptides are always a threat to water safety for pets.
- Check the temperature of the water.
- Have a pool? Keep it fenced/gated, covered, and install an alarm.
- Never allow your pet to swim unsupervised.
- Rinse your dog’s skin and coat off completely, and dry their ears carefully.