As summer approaches we all spend more time around water and our dogs likewise can love a swim and a paddle. This month then I thought I would talk about some of the safety items you should be thinking about with the safety of your dog in mind.
The first thing to remember if this is your dog’s first summer with you that they may not be able to swim or have a different swimming ability to your previous dog. So be careful how deep and how far the dog swims out or they could get in trouble and if you can’t get to them in time it could have tragic consequences. Also remember if your dogs are getting older it also may not be able to swim as far this summer as they did last summer and again be away of the potential for them to get into trouble if they push themselves too far.
If you are around bodies of water always be aware of where your dog is especially if entry and exit to the water is difficult like canal areas. An enthusiastic jump in while you aren’t looking, if they can’t get out, can quickly tire a dog trying and turn from a fun swim into a sad demise.
If you are taking your dog out on a boat, think about asking the hire company for a dog life jacket many if they allow dogs on board will have them and it is better to be safe than sorry. Also if you are in a motor propelled boat be aware your dog may jump or fall off the back and with the propeller blades close to the surface this can be highly dangerous.
The other danger around water can be disease. The two common ones being Leptospirosis and Giardia. If you have your dogs vaccinated annually they will be covered for Leptospirosis. Giardia is not normally vaccinated against but treated if acquired. Just be aware if your dog develops diarrhoea or sickness after swimming that doesn’t clear up this might be the cause and take them to the vet.
Finally, there is one element of some waters especially standing water that can be deadly to dogs which is water with Blue Green Algae. It looks like matts of green material floating on the surface of the water. It contains toxins against which there is no antidote. Don’t be fooled by the blue green name as sometime you can only see the blue tinge in certain lights. The safest approach is if you see large amounts of floating algae keep your dog out of the water as the consequences can be far too serious to take the risk.
So be water aware and have fun, but stay safe and enjoy an aqua summer. Here at Calagran Four Paws Hotel we have a paddling pool set up in our play paddock for the resident staying with us or visiting dogs that hire the paddock areas for play sessions.