Entering the Canine Splash Zone: Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer is a time to make a splash and beat the heat. Both humans and pets love to cool off in lakes, pools, or the ocean. While water activities are a great way to exercise, it’s important to keep some safety tips in mind to ensure your furry friend enjoys the water safely.  

Paws before hitting the water

Just like you pack some essentials before a beach, lake, or pool day, your pup will need some essentials, too.

  • Collar, leash, and ID: Always bring these items for any outing, including water adventures. Make sure your pup has up-to-date microchip or ID tag information if they will be enjoying the water off-leash. For dogs who are less familiar with swimming outings, keep them on a leash until they gain confidence. Our Pro Waterproof collection features collars and leashes with a waterproof coating that repels odors for a splashing good time with less mess.
  • Lifejacket: For added safety, you can invest in a dog life jacket. These are helpful when first teaching a dog to swim, and also are essential when on a boat or in deep water. A life jacket with bright colors can help you spot your pet while they’re in the water. Check with your favorite local pet retail store to see what options they have available.
  • Towel: As a dog owner, you’re familiar with the infamous shake that happens when a dog exits the water. While this helps dry them off a bit, using a towel can help remove excess water, sand, dirt, or mud from their fur after a day in the water.
  • Bottled water: Fun in the sun can make your dog thirsty, so be sure to have clean, safe drinking water handy. Water from pools, lakes, rivers, or oceans can contain chemicals and/or salt, bacteria and parasites that make it harmful to drink.
  • Pet-safe sunscreen: Yep, pets can get sunburnt, too! Dogs with no hair or thinner coats are more at risk of sunburn so you will want to bring a sunscreen that is formulated for pets to minimize their risk. Check with your veterinarian, groomer, or local pet store for pet-safe options.

Enjoy doggy paddling delight

It’s time to hit the water! While you’re making a splash, don’t forget to keep these important tips in mind.

  • Check conditions: Before diving in, it’s important to check water conditions – especially for natural bodies of water. Water temperature that is too cold for you to get in may be too cold for your pet; avoid prolonged exposure to cold water. Be aware of any rip currents, algal blooms, and other hazards that can make swimming dangerous.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye out for fish or other aquatic creatures that could possibly pose a risk to you and your pet while swimming. If you’re at the beach, broken shells have the potential to cause cuts on paw pads. Be diligent and don’t let your pup out of your sight while swimming.
  • Take breaks: Swimming is a great exercise, but it can become strenuous for dogs. Your pup will need a swimming break just like humans need them. Take breaks frequently to rest and soak up the sun.

Caring for those soggy doggies 

After your day of fun in the sun and water, there are a few things to do to care for your pup.

  • As mentioned, make sure you have a towel to dry off your pup and remove any excess sand, dirt, mud, or salt from your swim. Be sure to dry their ears to help prevent ear infections. A quick towel dry can help keep your dog comfortable as well as keep your vehicle tidy. You can also use a protective seat cover like the Bergan® Auto Seat Protector.
  • Once you are home, rinse off your dog thoroughly to remove any skin irritants. Feel free to use a pet shampoo as well for the full bath experience. After rinsing, dry them again with a clean towel.

As you head outdoors with your dog this summer, keep these tips in mind if you plan to wade into the water. Whether your pets need summer gear or something for daily wear, Coastal has products you trust for the pets you love. Shop online at www.coastalpet.com.