Here in Florida, we get to enjoy swimming for most of the year, something many of our friends and neighbors up north truly envy. Many of our canine patients also enjoy going for a dip on a hot day! However, you will need to take some precautions to keep your pup safe near the water. A Coral Springs, FL vet discusses swimming with Fido below.
Some dogs are natural swimmers, and take to water with little or no prompting. Others? Not so much. Some pooches are scared of water, some aren’t physically cut out for swimming, and some just sink like stones. Take some time to teach Fido the basics. Support him gently as he’s learning, and encourage him with praise and attention.
If you’re headed to a pool, the first thing you want to do is teach your pet where the exit is. If Fido were to slip and fall in when no one was looking, he could be in serious trouble if he couldn’t get out again! Take some time on this training. Also, in general, you’ll want to follow the same precautions you would with a young child. Never leave your dog near water unattended, and block off pool access with a gate or fence when it isn’t in use. It’s also a good idea to put a doggy lifejacket on Fido whenever he’s near water, especially if he’s not a good swimmer.
Headed to the beach? Your canine pal could overheat very quickly at the shore! Bring plenty of water along for Fido. Try to hit the beach in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler. Avoid areas with strong currents or heavy wakes. Also, pay attention to your pup’s feet. Dogs can quickly burn their paws on hot tar or sand! Your pet could also get cuts from sharp shells, rocks, or broken glass. Paw balm will help protect Fido’s paws.
Be careful around ponds and lakes. Keep your furry buddy on a leash, and away from areas that may be housing gators or snakes.
After swim time is over, rinse Fido off to get salt, sand, or chlorine out of his fur. Then, get his tail going again by giving him a yummy treat, like doggy ice cream.
Please contact us, your local Coral Springs, FL vet clinic, anytime. We’re always happy to help!