Swimming Safety for Your Dog This Spring

The months are quickly heating up here in Brisbane and Spring is well and truly upon us!  Swimming is great exercise and mental stimulation for dogs, but is also a great way to keep your dog cool on those hot days.  Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Some breeds, such as bulldogs, take to the water like boulders (they sink like a rock). The Bulldog’s short legs and big chest makes it physically difficult for them to stay afloat in the water.  Here’s some safety tips for safe swimming for your dog: 

  • Don’t assume all dogs can swim
  • Take it slow when teaching your dog to swim 
  • Get your dog a life vest 
  • Don’t let your dog drink the water it is swimming in 
  • Ask your vet about preventatives for diseases or illnesses that may be caused by contamination in water 
  • Don’t let your dog swim somewhere that has blue-green algae 
  • Always wash your dog after they swim to get rid of bacteria 

 A great way to make sure your dog is always safe when swimming at the beach or pool is to join in with them!  If your dog is showing signs of illness after swimming, please take your dog to your local vet for examination. It could be an ear infection or illness caused by bacteria.  How to teach your dog the basics when it comes to swimming: 

  • Choose a quiet, shallow spot in the water.
  • Keep your dog on a leash while they learn.
  • Get into the water with them.
  • Start at the edge of the water, and stay as long as your dog enjoys it.
  • If your dog doesn’t want to go, don’t force them in – especially if it’s a deep spot.
  • When your dog begins to paddle with their front legs, lift their hind legs to show them how to float.

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