Pet Water Safety: Protect Your Excursion Buddy

pet water safetyHanging out around water is a way of life here, a fact that pleases most local pets. To be sure, there are endless opportunities for aquatic recreation, but it’s only truly successful when pet water safety rules are strictly enforced. Not only will your pet’s survival be nearly guaranteed, but overall enjoyment is a sure thing, as well.

Drowning Prevention

With approximately 5,000 accidental pet drownings each year, pet owners and advocates have a long way to go to protecting animals from this terrible fate. Supervision is the best defense against drowning or near-drowning events. To be sure, keeping a closely trained eye on your pet when he or she is near the water can greatly reduce the risk.

Other Components

Beyond supervision, pet owners should invest in some or all of the following:

  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – Properly outfitting your pet with a strong, snug life jacket is a great pet water safety measure. You can even find ones with a hand hold to make lifting your pet out of water much easier. Even a good swimmer can tire out, so a PFD can ensure safety in the water.
  • Security – Fencing, security gates, and alarm systems are all essential to pet water safety. Ramps, pet stairs, and accessible ladders also enable your pet to safely enter and exit the pool. Training your pet to always use these can reduce panic and exhaustion.

Water Play is Great Exercise

Teaching your pet to swim is one of life’s greatest rewards. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a life-saving skill. Not all dogs are built for safe water play, however. Senior pets and those with barrel chests, flat noses, and short legs are especially challenged at effective swimming, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy splashing around.

When training your pet to safely enjoy the water, please remember these pet water safety tactics:

  • Start slowly. Your dog will need time to condition muscles for longer swimming stretches.
  • Keep your dog’s leash on while learning water play.
  • Introduce the shallow end of the pool first (or the beach at low tide).
  • Try to build confidence, and encourage longer swimming sessions over time. Make it a joyful experience.
  • Foster a positive connection to water with toys, treats, and other rewards.
  • Watch for signs of exhaustion. Offer lots of breaks in the shade and cool, clean water.

A+ for Pet Water Safety

Other ways you can score big on pet water safety include:

  • Never turn your back on the sea; currents are very strong and often unpredictable. Big waves can also be dangerous to your pet.
  • Rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of fresh water can contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or algae if your pet drinks from it.
  • Rinse your pet off thoroughly after swimming in a pool, ocean, or freshwater.
  • Dry the ears thoroughly afterwards.

If you have any questions or concerns about pet water safety, we invite you to contact us. From our team to your family, we hope you enjoy your summer and stay safe!

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