Swimming with Your Dog

Thinking of taking your dog into the water with you? Take heed of these safety tips from a Fort Bend veterinarian when swimming with your canine companion.

Make Sure Your Dog Can Swim

The old adage that all dogs are natural swimmers is actually false. Some dogs are great swimmers, yes—especially the retriever breeds. But some dogs are just adequate swimmers, and some can’t swim at all. Do some research or call your veterinary professional before jumping with your dog into the water. You don’t want to terrify a dog that can’t swim by forcing him into the pool.

Doggie Flotation

You may want to outfit your dog with a flotation device. These are especially helpful for dogs that are only adequate swimmers. They are available at many pet supply stores.

Stay With Your Dog

Always, always remain with your dog as he’s swimming. Dogs aren’t tall enough to touch the bottom of the pool or lake, so you’ll want to remain close by to support them, even if they’re wearing a floatation device.

Don’t Let Your Dog Drink Too Much

If you’re swimming in a pool, your dog should be okay if he drinks a small amount of the chlorinated water, but don’t let him gulp it down. It will upset the stomach if too much of it is ingested. Chlorine will also dry your dog’s coat out with prolonged exposure, so don’t keep him in the pool for too long.

Never let your pooch drink ocean water or lake water if you’re swimming in a public body of water. Salt, chemicals, and bacteria can all get inside the digestive tract and cause problems. Bring along a water bottle with fresh, cool water for your dog to drink when he gets thirsty.

Talk to your Fort Bend veterinarian for more helpful tips on swimming with your dog, and remember to have fun while staying safe!


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