Does your dog love the water? If they do, I’m sure you’ll agree that there is no better way to beat the summer heat of Boise, ID than to have some fun, enjoying Idaho’s rivers and lakes with your four-legged best friend. While you’re splashing and paddling in the water, it’s important to remember safety not only for yourself, but also for your dog.
Follow these tips from a local Companions Dog Resort Trainer to keep your pet safe while doing so.
1. Protect them from insect bites.
Water typically means mosquitoes and other biting insects are around, so be sure your dog is wearing a something to protect them from bites. Be careful to not spend prolonged amounts of time in water at dusk when these critters are at their worst. In some areas that means getting the Lepto vaccination and in others it means you need to know what to watch out for. Heart worm Medication and Flea and Tick prevention are vital for any outdoor Spring and Summer Play.
2. Be careful with chemicals.
If your dog will be enjoying the family pool, be sure the chemicals you use in it are being used correctly and safely for pets (ask at the company in which you purchased your pool or call a local pool company). You want to avoid any irritation that could result from swimming in such water. Be mindful of what day you or your pool person is putting chemicals in the water and try to have your dog avoid the pool for the next 48 hours to give the chemicals time to fully integrate into the water. If you have to shock your pool wait at least one week before going back into the pool.
3. Always supervise them.
Just like children, dogs should not be left alone around water. While many have a natural instincts to swim, they could still become injured or drown. Always supervise your dog around water. It’s recommended to teach dogs to swim from a very young age so that if they do happen to fall in the pool or other water they know what to do in order to get out.
4. Be Aware
Dogs that are heavy on land are way heavier in the water when you’re trying to pull them back into your boat. Make sure you can handle your dog out of your and his natural environments. Even dogs that swim well can tire very quickly, even faster than you, because they don’t understand the concept of resting or treading water – they just swim and swim, until they can’t anymore. Make sure you pet does not overdo it! When swimming with your dog, don’t let him swim too far away from you, because he could get into trouble quickly. Especially Any time your dog is near fast moving water or rough water, you should also consider having a life vest for them.
5. Be familiar with the area.
Don’t allow your dog to go into bodies of water you are not familiar with. You never know what hazards may be in the water (physical or chemical) so it is best to avoid them. If you are going to be vacationing this summer call a vet local to the area and speak with their staff about what you can expect and what you should come ready to prevent.
6. Don’t Let Your Dog Drink the Water
While a few sips of chlorinated pool water or salty lake water might not hurt your dog, too much of either isn’t healthy. Chlorine and salt will upset your dog’s stomach eventually. Since your dog will probably get tired and thirsty when swimming, he’s likely to sip what’s right in front of him. Monitor your dog to make sure he’s not drinking too much, and bring him out of the water if you see him gulping down water.
7. Think like a dog around swimming pools and Rivers.
Even dogs who are seasoned swimmers can get into trouble around pools and rivers. Dogs don’t automatically know where the stairs are in a pool or where to get out on the river. So if they jump or fall in, their instinct is to swim to the nearest edge and tread water. If no one is there to redirect them or lift them out, they’ll struggle to tread water until they are exhausted and can drown.
8. Don’t forget to bathe.
After enjoying the water, always give your dog a good bath. Clean away any debris or chemicals they may have been exposed to. After enjoying the pool a quick hose off will do the trick if water activities are on the agenda for the next day but if you plan on going for a walk or playing in the yard instead using soap is a good idea to wash away the chlorine so your pets fur doesn’t bleach out. If you are playing in a natural water source it is best to wash completely daily to avoid parasite and other bugs.
When it comes to swimming and fear of water, dogs are just like humans. Many love it and seem to have a natural ability. Others do not. Before taking your dog on your next trip to the lake or pool, make sure they are well acquainted with the water and you are aware of any potential Dangers to them. Heading off to a river, lake or lounging poolside are great ways to cool off with your dog during the hot summer days of Boise, Idaho!