Dog Water Safety: Essential Tips for the Beach, Pool, and Lake | Keep Your Dog Safe Around the Water | Pet Palace

Dog Water Safety: Essential Tips for the Beach, Pool, and Lake

dog water safety

Summer is right around the corner, and this means that there are probably some days at the beach, pool, and lake in your future. You might decide to leave your furry friends at home, but since they probably enjoy the water just as much as you do, there’s a good chance they’ll be tagging along.

Whether it’s your first time taking your dog near water or you’re a seasoned pro, we wanted to give our favorite tips on dog water safety to make sure your pet’s happy and healthy both during and after the trip.

Encouraging Dog Water Safety by Understanding Hazards

Each water type can pose different hazards to your pet, and while this shouldn’t deter you from having a fun day at the beach, lake, or pool, it is important to be aware of them and take precautions. We’ve put together a list of actionable items that will help keep your dog safe in and around the water sorted by location:

Dog Water Safety at the Beach

  • To keep your dog safe in the water, look for any strong currents that could carry them away and monitor your pet closely while they’re swimming
  • Watch out for jellyfish, stingrays, and other marine creatures that can cause harm or discomfort to your furry friend
  • Provide your dog with fresh water after swimming since saltwater and the sun can be dehydrating
  • Rinse salt and sand from your dog’s coat to prevent skin irritation
  • Consider using a pet-safe sunscreen on parts of your dog with less fur like the nose, ears, and belly
  • Walk your dog on cooler surfaces to protect their paws from heat-related injuries while on the beach

The Pool

  • Supervise your dog near the pool at all times to monitor their well-being
  • Teach your dog to exit the pool safely using the stairs
  • Rinse your pup off after their time in the pool to prevent them from having irritation from chemicals in the water
  • Make sure the barrier around the pool is locked when not in use to prevent your dog from accessing the area without supervision

The Lake

  • Avoid letting your dog in stagnant water because it can harbor bacteria and make your dog sick
  • Stay away from areas that have algae blooms and rinse your dog thoroughly if they do make it into a lake where algae is present
  • Understand boating safety if you are going out on the water and teach your dog how to safely enter and exit the boat
  • Put your dog in a well-fitted life jacket that can keep them afloat if needed

Our Favorite Tips for Dog Water Safety

When it comes to keeping your dog safe in the water, there are a few rules to follow. Since no dog is the same, the rules may vary for each family, but we wanted to compile a full list to ensure that you have all of your bases covered.

Here are our favorite tips for dog water safety:

  • Research life jackets – Invest in a well-fitted life jacket for your pup if they are not strong swimmers or if you plan on keeping them in the water for long periods of time. This is especially key if you’re going to be spending the day in the water, on a boat, or in an area where there could be unexpected waves or currents. Additionally, this approach may be particularly beneficial for older dogs who still love the water but don’t have the energy they used to as a puppy.
  • Train your pup – Before taking the trip to your local beach or pool, make sure your dog understands basic commands like “come,” “stay,” “sit,” “heel,” and others to ensure that they will listen in case of an emergency.
  • Provide fresh drinking water – Always provide fresh water for your dog to prevent them from drinking saltwater or chlorinated water from pools, which can give them a stomachache and result in dehydration.
  • Supervise – To keep your dog safe around water, never leave them unattended. Even if they are known to be strong swimmers, it’s still important to watch them.
  • Watch for signs of fatigue – Keep an eye out for signs of fatigue like excessive panting, lagging behind, or difficulty staying afloat. Just like humans, dogs need to take a break from treading water, so let them do just that!
  • Rinse after swimming – Rinsing your dog off with a hose or giving them a bath is always nice after they’ve spent the day in chlorine or saltwater. This helps remove any residue from their coat and can prevent irritation and dryness.

FAQs About Keeping Your Dog Safe Around the Water

Are all dogs able to swim?

Dog water safety 101 starts with an analysis of your pup’s swimming skills. Many dogs can swim instinctively, but not all are going to be strong swimmers. Dogs that have short legs or heavy bodies may struggle a bit in the water, making it that much more important to get them a life vest or a different floatation device.

Additionally, there are dogs who may not enjoy swimming or have a fear of the water, so be sure to test your dog’s preferences before planning an entire day in the water with them.

Is it safe for my dog to drink water from oceans, pools, and lakes?

To keep your dog safe and healthy, it’s best to discourage them from drinking water from these sources. Ocean water contains salt which is dangerous for any mammal to drink, and pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals, which are dangerous in larger doses as well. Plus, oceans, pools, and lakes may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can harm your pet. Therefore, it is always important to provide fresh water for them.

Can I let my dog swim off-leash?

Whether you allow your dog to swim off-leash depends heavily on the area and your dog’s abilities. When in open water areas, keeping your dog on a leash can prevent them from getting into dangerous situations or wandering off.

What are the signs of water intoxication in dogs?

We’d like to conclude our dog water safety FAQs by talking about water intoxication. This phenomenon occurs when a dog ingests an excess of water, causing an imbalance of electrolytes in the body. Here are the signs to look out for:

  • Excessive water consumption (this may seem obvious, but if your dog is drinking an abnormally high volume of water in a short period of time it is a sign to look out for)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Excessive drooling or salivation
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Pale gums and mucous membranes
  • Disorientation or confusion

If you’re noticing these signs in your dog after a long day in the sun, it’s important to contact your vet and ensure that your dog is healthy.

Contact Us for Dog Day Care and Boarding!

If there is ever a time when you want to get out and enjoy the water without your pup, or if they are not a fan of the water, the team at Pet Palace is happy to step in and watch them! We have the best dog boarding and day care in the business.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Lora Shaw

About the author

Lora Shaw

Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.

Categories: All Posts, Dogs, Tips for Your Pets