Water Safety and Your Pet

December 4th, 2013

petplan header summer safety

The temperatures rise in the summer months and there is no better way to cool off than a dip in the pool or playing in the waves, however, if you decide to involve your pet in your aquatic activities be sure he is ready to take the plunge before you dive in! Whether it is a raging river, an ocean beach, a duck pond, or a family pool, water can be extremely dangerous to pets.

Top Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe Around Water

1) Teach your pet to swim – Not all pets are confident in the water and many don’t have the innate ability to swim. If you’re not up to the challenge then hire a dog trainer.

2) Get a life vest for your dog – People typically bring their dogs to participate in water based activities because, more so than cats, they typically love the water! Even if your dog is a strong swimmer he could face strong currents or other animals that put him in danger while in the water, or he could be knocked unconscious. Equipping your dog with a life vest is the best way to keep him safe from drowning. If your dog is old, young, or not confident in the water a dog life vest is essential.

3) Learn CPR –  If your pet should drown then giving your pet CPR, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is your best chance at saving him. Taking a Pet CPR course is the best way to learn how to administed CPR but this link from PetMD is a good resource, too. http://ow.ly/rg1OH

Pool Precautions 

  • Build a fence around the pool.
  • Always supervise your dog when they’re swimming.
  • Teach your pet how to get out of the pool. Show your pet how to use the stairs and, if necessary, build a pool ramp on both ends of the pool so your dog can escape if he falls in. Be sure that the ramp is non-slippery.
  • Dogs can get “swimmer’s ear” if water gets stuck in their ear canal. Use a towel to dry out their ears or get a canine ear-drying solution.

 Fresh Water Worries

  • Never let your dog swim in blue-green algae ponds, signified by a foul odour and a murky appearance. Certain types of algae can produce a deadly toxin that may cause severe sickness or seizures if your pet ingests the water.
  • Lakes sometimes have sink holes or quick sand that may cause your pet to panic.
  • If you’re walking along a river that has a strong current keep your pet on a leash. If you find calm, shallow water with an easy entry and exit point let your pet wade in and splash water on his back and neck, but leave the leash on.
  • Rivers that look calm can still have a strong current and sweep your dog downstream.
  • If you live in an area with crocodiles keep pets well away from the water’s edge.

Seaside Safety

  • Read the signs! Watch out for strong currents, undertow, sudden drops, and crashing waves. If a lifeguard says it is too dangerous for humans to swim it is too dangerous for your dog.
  • Don’t let your dog drink salt water and rinse him off with fresh water.
  • Keep an eye out for danger! Sharks and jellyfish can all pose a legitimate threat to your pet.
  • Dog beaches can be unsafe if people are not practicing proper do beach etiquette. Our Dog Beach Etiquette infographic is a good guide line to make sure you and your dog enjoy your time at the beach:http://ow.ly/rnRbF

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