The temperature is on the rise, and the water is calling your name. You're counting down the seconds until you get to enjoy some quality time cooling off at the beach, playing frisbee in the lake, or just relaxing poolside with your pup. But before you pack your beach bag and break out the pool floats, here are 14 things you should know to keep your pup safe and happy while he's splashing the summer away.
1. Don't just assume your dog can swim
There are some breeds (hey, bulldogs — we're looking at you!) that will try to swim for survival's sake, but you can be sure they aren't enjoying it. Other notorious land-loving breeds include Chihuahuas, Pugs, Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Dachshunds. If you have a dog who doesn't love the water, find a way for them to enjoy the outing safely from a shaded spot on land, or leave them at home.
2. Never leave a dog unattended near a pool
Accidents happen and your pup could panic and quickly tire himself out trying to find the stairs. If your dog is playing near or in a pool, be sure that an adult who is capable of lifting the dog out of the pool is always on site.
3. Brush up on doggie CPR
While hopefully you'll never need to know how to perform CPR on your dog, it's an important skill to know, just in case. If you need to perform CPR, then you should compress your dog's chest approximately 100 to 120 times per minute. You will need to breathe for your dog, too, so you should close your dog's muzzle with one hand before breathing into his nose. For every 10 to 15 compressions, you should give two breaths to your dog's nose.
4. Don't forget to spray on the SPF
Dogs with light-colored coats are more vulnerable towards getting sunburnt and need to be covered in a layer of sunblock. Put your dog's sunblock on every time you reapply your own family's sunblock to keep him protected throughout the day.
5. Invest in a life jacket for your dog
Use it anytime you're on a boat or swimming in an open body of water. Not only will it help keep them afloat, the convenient handle on the back will also give you something to grab on to if your pup falls overboard or gets caught in a rip tide.
6. Always check the current yourself first before letting your four-legged friend loose in the river or ocean
Pay attention to posted signage regarding tides and safety precautions since even the strongest swimmers can easily get swept up in raging waters.
7. Swimming can be strenuous, so be careful not to overdo it
Swmming is great exercise, but it's also tiring. Unlike athletic dog breeds that are talented swimmers, heavier breeds or unfit dogs may have a harder time. Make your pooch take plenty of breaks in the shade and provide plenty of fresh water for her to drink.
8. Take off your dog's collar
Remove your dog's collar before letting her loose in the water so it doesn't accidentally get caught on underwater branches or debris. Just remember to put her collar right back on as soon as she's out of the water.
9. Your dog will weigh quite a bit more once in the water
So make sure you're strong enough to actually lift the dog out of the water before you two venture too far from home.
10. Never force a dog into the water if they don't want to go
She may end up panicking on the way in and wind up seriously injuring herself or you. Plus, you want swimming to be an experience that your dog learns to enjoy. Forcing her in won't make her want to go back into the water in the future.
11. Try not to let your pooch drink the water from any lake, ocean, or swimming pool
Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water. Between risking gastrointestinal issues or a possible bacterial infection — it's better to be safe than sorry.
12. Clean and dry your dog's ears
Take care of your pooch's ears as soon as soon as he gets out of the water to help prevent a nasty ear infection. If your dog has been in chlorinated water, a bath will remove chlorine from his coat to help prevent irritation.
13. Keep an extra close eye on puppies near the pool
Most of them are pretty clumsy and won't be able to swim longer than a few seconds. If you have a pool at home, make sure that the fencing surrounding it is puppy proof.
14. Make sure your pet knows exactly how to get out of the water.
Practice the exit a few times to be positive she has it down before you let the fun begin. When you're around water with your dog, always keep a close eye on him to keep him as safe as possible.