Summer is here, and many of us are looking forward to spending time relaxing at the pool. Many of our canine pals also enjoy swimming and sunbathing. When bringing Fido to the pool, always put his safety first. Below, a Niagara Falls, ON vet discusses pool safety for dogs.
Although some dogs are natural swimmers, this isn’t always the case. Fido’s breed will have a lot to do with his innate swimming skills (or lack thereof). Retrievers, for instance, tend to take to the water like, well, furry ducks. However some of our canine pals—including many small dogs; brachycephalic breeds, like pugs; and large pooches—must be taught how to swim. If your pet can’t swim, take time to show him. Don’t throw Fido into the water: even if he figures out the doggy paddle, he’ll probably be terrified of the water afterwards. Instead, support his weight gently until he gets the hang of it.
First and foremost, make sure Fido knows where the pool stairs are. That way, if he ever accidentally falls in when you aren’t looking, he’ll be able to get out again. Test your furry pal a few times, to make sure it’s really sunk in. You may want to mark the exit with a visible landmark, like a potted tree.
Fido’s paw pads become very delicate after being immersed in water, just like human skin does. Dogs can easily get painful paw blisters by running around on hot and/or hard surfaces after going swimming. Keep your pooch on soft ground when he gets out of the pool. Also, rinse your pet off before leaving, to get the chlorine out of his fur.
Pool covers can present a serious risk for Man’s Best Friend. It’s much too easy for a curious pooch to mistake a cover for a solid surface, and hop onto it. We recommend keeping your pool area fenced off. This is especially important if your canine buddy is a senior dog or puppy, or has vision problems or mobility issues. When it comes to pet care, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Call us, your Niagara Falls, ON animal clinic, today! We are happy to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.