As summer approaches, many dog owners look forward to taking their furry friends for a dip in the pool, a swim in the lake, or a beach adventure. While water activities can be a great way to beat the heat and provide fun for both humans and dogs, it's important to prioritize water safety to ensure a positive and secure experience for your canine companion. Here are our tips for keeping your pet safe in the water!  

Assess your dog’s swimming ability. Not all dogs are natural swimmers, and their skills when it comes to swimming may greatly vary. Assess their level and ability beforehand! Gradually introduce them to shallow water, and use positive reinforcement to build their confidence. If your dog struggles or show signs of discomfort, consider using a dog life jacket (like the GF Pet Life Vests we have here at Hungry Hound). Know the water conditions! Whether you’re heading to the beach, a lake, or a pool, it’s crucial to be aware of the water conditions. Strong currents, rip tides, or contaminated water can pose risks to your dog’s safety.  

Research the area beforehand and choose swimming spots that are known to be safe. Avoid areas with heavy boat traffic or hazardous debris. Start with freshwater! These calm lakes and pools have clearer water, fewer waves, minimal currents, and make it easier for your dog to get comfortable with their swimming skills. Provide constant supervision! Never leave your dog unattended around water, even if they are experienced swimmers. Accidents can happen in an instant, so keep an eye on your dog especially if they seem tired or overwhelmed.  

Avoid drinking contaminated water. Dogs may be tempted to drink water from lakes or other natural bodies, but it’s important to discourage this behavior. This water can contain harmful bacteria or algae. Always bring fresh water to keep your pup hydrated. Rinse off after swimming! Removing any chlorine, salt, or algae from their  coat can help prevent skin irritation and keep them clean and comfortable. Pool safety is also especially important. If you have a pool at home, secure the pool with a fence or gate to prevent unsupervised access. Teach your dog how to exit the pool using the steps or a designated ramp, and consider using a pool alarm for added peace of mind. Water activities can be enjoyable and refreshing for dogs, but it’s vital to prioritize their safety.  

Follow these tips to ensure your furry friend stays safe, confident, and happy in and around the water!