Opinion

Navidad: Water safety — Keep your dog safe this summer

Posted 5/24/22

The triple digits are upon us, which means many of us will be trying to keep cool and spending more time by the pool or at the lake.

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Opinion

Navidad: Water safety — Keep your dog safe this summer

Posted

The triple digits are upon us, which means many of us will be trying to keep cool and spending more time by the pool or at the lake.

All of us know we must be mindful of our kids when they are around water, especially if we have a pool in our backyard.

Just leaving them alone for a matter of seconds can lead to devastating consequences, but did you know our pets can be at risk too?

If you have a backyard pool or want to take your dog out to the lake, here are some important water safety tips to ensure you keep your pets safe in and around water this summer.

Never leave your dog alone in water

You might think that if your dog fell in the pool that they would be able to get themselves out, but that’s not usually the case. You should never let your dog near your pool if you aren’t outside with them.

If you have a doggie door, you should make sure that your pool is secured behind a fence and that your dog doesn’t have access to it. Otherwise, your dog may fall into the pool when you aren’t outside or even home, and they may not know how to get out on their own.

Practice is important

If you have a pool in your backyard, you need to show your dog how to get out of the pool using the steps. You should practice getting out of the pool together until your dog learns how to get out on their own.

This way if they fall in accidentally, then they will have a better chance of getting out safely.

If you want to teach your dog how to swim and enjoy the pool, you want to mindful of your dog’s breed and age because some breeds are more natural born swimmers than others. Dogs with short snouts like bulldogs or dogs with short legs like dachshunds, will have a harder time keeping themselves above water, so exercise extreme caution when they are near water.

Make sure to start small and to always be in the water with your dog when they are swimming, and never force them into the water if they don’t want to go in.

Make the investment

If your dog will be around water often, either near a pool or on a boat on a lake, it might be worth investing in a life vest for your dog, so you can ensure that they won’t go under water if they fall in accidentally or if they tire easily.

It’s also a great idea to learn dog CPR, so that you are prepared in case anything happens. The Red Cross offers an online cat and dog first aid class, which includes how to perform CPR on your cat or dog.

Keep your dog healthy

Even if your pup is a strong swimmer, you need to make sure you are keeping a close eye on them in the water.

Don’t let them drink the pool or lake water, to prevent them from ingesting chemicals or parasites.

You also want to rinse them down after they have been in the water and dry their ears after to prevent irritation or an infection.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you enjoy this season with your pup. It can be quite entertaining to watch your dog play in water, but it’s important to do it safely!

Editor’s note: Alessandra Navidad is president and CEO of the Arizona Animal Welfare League. Visit aawl.org.

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