Most dogs can swim, but not all dogs are good at it or like it. Flat-faced dog breeds, like French Bulldogs or Pugs, not only have short snouts but are also top heavy with big chests. If they get too tired trying to stay afloat, they can quickly sink.
When bringing your canine companion along to join the fun on the water this summer, be sure to keep their safety in mind.
To help pet owners keep their dogs safe, Trupanion shares the top 6 tips on water safety for dogs:
1. Watch: Know where your pets are and what they’re doing.
2. Pool Safety: Pets must be able to get out easily.
3. Wash: Don’t let salt or pool chemicals dry in your dog’s fur.
4. Life Jackets: The right fit, buoyancy, handles and bright colors so you can easily spot your pet are all vital.
5. Rest: Swimming can be strenuous! Give your pet plenty of breaks and clean drinking water.
6. Water: Don’t let your dog lap up lake, river, pool or ocean water.
And above all, use common sense.
Lakes and pools can be dangerous and dogs can overload on water, resulting in water intoxication. It’s not common, but often fatal.
Excessive water intake from swimming too long, diving into water or even biting at sprinklers causes hypernatremia (dilution of sodium). Diluted electrolytes can cause muscle and nerve control issues including seizures. A significant amount of water can lead to brain swelling as the body tries to balance electrolyte levels, and the combination can mean insufficient oxygen dispersal through diluted blood.
Keep an eye on your pet during these hot summer days. If you think your pet has ingested too much water, or perhaps too little (resulting in dehydration) be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately for the best way to help your pooch.
For more tips on how to safely keep your pet cool this summer you can check out Trupanion for expert advice.
You can download a PDF of the tips here: watersafety_8.5x11_RGB_FINAL.