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Swimming Safety for Dogs

July 1 2016

Summertime is here! As temperatures rise, many of us enjoy going swimming to beat the heat. Our canine buddies also enjoy going for a dip on hot days. When bringing Fido to the water, just remember to put your beloved pet’s safety first. A Myrtle Beach, SC vet discusses swimming safety for dogs in this article.

Swimming Ability

While some dogs are natural swimmers, others need to be taught how to swim. For instance, many retriever breeds take to the water with little or no guidance. Other breeds, including brachycephalic dogs, many small dogs, and some large breeds, need swimming lessons. It’s also important to remember that swimming is harder for some dogs than for others. Pugs, for instance, lose their breath easily, and can get tired very quickly. Keep an eye on Fido, and don’t let him swim more than a few minutes at a time. Also, never leave your dog near the water unattended.

Teaching Fido

If your canine buddy can’t swim, it’s worth your while to give him some swimming lessons. Never throw your dog into the water. Fido may figure out the doggy paddle, but he’ll likely be traumatized by the experience, and may be terrified of water afterwards. Instead, go into the water with your furry pal, and support his weight gently until he gets the hang of it.

Paw Care

Just like human skin, dogs’ paws get very delicate after they’ve been immersed in water. Your canine buddy can get painful paw blisters by running around on tar or sand after going swimming. Keep Fido on soft surfaces when he gets out of the water, and use paw balm or paw wax to protect those furry feet.

Pool Safety

If you’re bringing Fido to a pool, take time to show him where the stairs are, so he can get out if he falls in by accident. You may want to put a visual marker near the pool stairs. We recommend fencing off your pool, just to be on the safe side.

Basic Precautions

Before bringing Fido swimming, make sure that he knows and obeys basic doggy obedience commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Also, make sure your canine pal has plenty of fresh water to drink at all times. Is your dog due for vaccines or an exam? Contact us, your Myrtle Beach, SC animal hospital, anytime!

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