Safety Rules When Taking Your Dog to Play in the Water April 24 2018

Playing on and in the water can be a carefree way to spend the day with your dog this summer, but keeping them safe is #1! Know these Safety Rules before taking them out: 

1) Going to the lake or the beach? First, make sure you're taking your dog to a dog-friendly body of water. You don't want to end your day with a ticket or fine for having your dog in a "people only" area.

2) Make sure your dog hasn't just eaten. From throwing up to deep chested breeds like great danes or weimaraners developing bloat, it's best to be on the safe side and wait a few hours.

3) Once there, never throw them into the water. Introduce them slowly to get them used to it, and also to give yourself a chance to see/feel what's lingering below the surface. You'll be happy your didn't throw Fido in when you discover jagged rocks, sudden drop-offs, strong currents, or freezing water temps that could have led to an injury. Dog-proof the area if needed or find a new area that safer.

4) A lot of dogs love to go swimming or run into the lake or ocean after a ball, but not all dogs can swim, nor should they without proper attire. If you're out on the boat or plan on swimming off the beach, make sure you have a Coast Guard approved lifejacket for your pooch. Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Brachycephalic breeds like pugs, boston terriers, and english bulldogs cannot swim without the support of a life jacket. With their front-heavy bodies and squished faces it is easy for them to drown due to their lack of buoyancy and harder time breathing. Finding a life jacket for your dog is more than just grabbing one at the pet store. Check out this article on how to select the proper one for fit and function.

5) When it comes to skin maintenance, we have a variety of products to keep in your beach/boat bag! Our non-toxic Sunscreen Spray and Sunscreen Balm can easily be applied to your dogs nose and face. Also our Ear Cleaner Spray is a great way to clean out your dogs ears after swimming. It will help prevent infections and pull out any bacteria or "floaties" your dog may have picked up while swimming. And if your dog comes out smelling extra stinky use our Cologne Sprays to help get rid of that doggie smell while they're drying.

6) Make sure you have plenty of fresh drinking water on hand just for them and refill it regularly. Dogs will easily drink from the lake or ocean, but it doesn't mean the water is clean! Parasites, bacteria, algae, and salt intake can lead to a sick pooch causing deyhdration or giardia. Also, let your dog get some rest in during swimming or fetch on the beach... an exhausted dog is more likely to drown!

7) It is always nice to have dog treats and poop bags on hand too. We have individual poop bag rolls for easy on the go convenience. Pick up some fun dog treats and floating water toys and throw them in your bag! Things like tennis balls soak up too much water and can cause your dog to choke on the water while swimming. Look for eco-friendly recycled rubber and hemp toys that come in fun shapes and sizes. They float easily and won't take on water and are easy to dry out. 

8) Lastly, make sure your dog knows how to get in/out of a boat or on/off a dock safely. You can find floatable ramps like these Doggy Docks ones to attach to your swim platform or dock to give them easy access in and out of the water. Also when driving a boat, teach them to ride safely by keeping them in a v-bunk, tied up on the deck with you, or sitting in your lap or next to you. The last thing you want is your pooch falling or jumping out and injuring themselves.

Making your dog part of your daily lives is the best way to strengthen your bond. Now get out there and take them for a trip to the beach or a boat ride... safely! Enjoy the summer weather.