Life’s a Beach When You Practice Dog Water Safety

Dog water safety can make taking pets to the beach more fun.With summer in full swing, families all over the state are eagerly heading out for a day or a weekend on the lake or at the pool. Cooling off near a body of water is one of the best parts of summer in Michigan, and water-loving canine companions couldn’t agree more.

Before you pack the cooler and sunscreen, keep in mind that your dog may not be as prepared for the sun, heat, and water as you might think. Review our tips for dog water safety to keep your pup happy, cool, and safe in or near the water.

Planning Makes Perfect

Preparation is key when it comes to bringing your pet anywhere, and a day at the beach or pool is no different. Make sure you have the essentials covered prior to any outdoor activity with your pet:

  • In addition to your pet’s collar and current ID tags, we encourage all pet owners to have their pet microchipped, especially if they are going to be in an open space/outdoor environment.
  • Obedience training is absolutely essential when it comes to dog water safety. Your dog’s life may depend on whether or not they come when called, especially in the water or in crowded areas.
  • Always bring a leash, and make sure there is an area where you can keep your dog secure while you rest, eat, etc. Even well behaved dogs should not be allowed to run loose in a public setting.
  • Schedule a wellness exam for your pet before hitting the water to make sure they are current on important vaccinations, such as leptospirosis (a water-borne threat), and parasite preventives.

Dog Water Safety

Water and heat related dangers should both be taken into consideration when it comes to dog water safety:

  • Hydration – Bring along plenty of bottled water and a bowl for your dog to drink from to encourage hydration and keep them from drinking lake, river, ocean, or pool water (a big no-no!).
  • Swimming – Not all dogs are natural swimmers, and some dogs may panic while in the water. Always supervise your dog around any body of water, don’t let them go too far out, and use a doggie life vest (even if your dog is already a strong swimmer).
  • Heat safety – Dogs can become overheated much more quickly than humans, especially when they are playing and exercising. Make sure your dog has access to shade and fresh water at all times, and have them take frequent breaks (especially with senior pets and puppies) to avoid overexertion.

Packing Up

Besides the all-important clean up of our garbage and of pet waste, taking the time to prep your dog for the trip home is essential. Rinse them with fresh water (if available) and towel dry with a clean towel before heading home to remove dirt, bacteria, or any parasites or chemicals they may have come into contact with.

If you have any further questions about dog water safety, please don’t hesitate to contact the staff at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates.