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Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Nothing feels better in summertime than jumping into the pool or lake to cool off. With so many water-centric activities in summer, it’s tempting to bring your dog along. A Lincoln, NE veterinary clinic offers tips to help keep your summer fun for you and your dog!

Dogs should never be allowed to swim alone. Be sure to help them learn to swim and love the water. Keep all interactions around the water positive so your dog doesn’t become fearful. NEVER throw your dog into a pool or lake. Gradually introduce them to deeper water as they are comfortable. Keep them on a leash while they are learning for safety. Doggie life jackets are a cheap way to give yourself peace of mind in many situations! Most dogs cannot tolerate colder water temperatures so be sure to check!

If you have a pool, keep it off limits unless you are with them. Install a fence around it or keep it covered. Be sure to teach your dog where to enter and exit the pool using stairs, or by installing a floating ramp for your dog to use. A fun way for a dog to use a pool is with a floating bed designed to be resistant to animal wear and tear! Just be sure your dog is comfortable with using it.

Taking your dog to the lake can be a great time for everyone. Steer clear of lakes with blue green algae (this can vary at different times of year, so check with your parks department for current information!) If going to a river, be sure the current isn’t too strong for your pup! Is fishing on the agenda? Be mindful of your dog around the fishing equipment. Fish hooks are no fun! Don’t let your dog drink the water (especially if its salt water!) Even lakes can harbor bacteria and parasites that could make your dog very sick. Similarly, keep them away from any washed up, dead fish or sea creatures.

If your dog is panicking in the water, especially if they are a large dog, just like with humans, do not jump in with them to save them! They could just as easily get you in trouble. Calmly guide them from land to a place you can grab them or get them to an exit point.

After water fun is done, be sure to rinse off your dog. This applies to any water, from a pool or other natural source. This helps remove any potential irritants from their skin. Then clean your dog’s ears with a cleaner recommended by your Lincoln, NE veterinary clinic. Water left in the ears can lead to ear infections which are painful and not cheap to treat.

We hope all these tips help you and your pooch have a fun, cool summer together. There’s nothing better than finding an activity you can share with your best furry friend! Call your Lincoln, NE veterinary clinic today if you have any questions!


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