Summertime Pet Water Safety tips

With summer just around the bend, and us living on the beautiful North Island filled with many amazing lakes, rivers + oceans - I thought I'd share some tips + tricks to help keep your furkids safe whenever you head out on a water-filled adventure this summer!

First tip - Don't assume that all dogs can swim. Many dogs are not able to swim or have an extra difficult time with it, especially those who are brachycephalic. If your furkid is one who is not a swimmer, here are some tips to help teach them. Please note: that a dog’s vision decreases dramatically at night and with advancing age when swimming with your dog, don’t let him swim too far away from you, because he could get into trouble quickly and if you have special needs dog they may not make the best candidate for swimming, even when supervised.

For example dogs with epilepsy can have a seizure in the water so be sure to talk to your Veterinarian about swimming, especially if your dog has special needs.

Like humans, dogs need to learn to swim. Although your pooch will likely be doing laps in far less time than it took you, making your dog feel comfortable in the water is an important step that you should not skip over.

DO NOT: Toss your dog into the water, it can be traumatizing and isn't the safest or smartest way to introduce them to the water. A much better way to introduce them to the water is by simply tossing a toy into the water and progressively moving it further from the shore. Baby steps are a great way to introduce them to the water and help them to feel safe + comfortable there. A few more great tips to teaching your furkid to swim include:

  1. Keep the lesson positive and stress-free for him.

  2. Choose a quiet, shallow spot in the water.

  3. Get into the water with him. Start at the edge of the water, and stay as long as he enjoys it.

  4. If he doesn’t want to go, don’t force him in — especially if it’s a deep spot.

  5. When your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs to show him how to float.