There’s no better way to spend the summer than lounging by a cool body of water. Though swimming is a great way to have fun and keep cool with your four legged friends, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind to make sure you and your dog safely enjoy your next trip to the lake, ocean, or pool this summer.
Fact or Fiction: All Dogs Can Swim
A common myth is that all dogs can swim, but that isn’t always the case. Though dogs reflexively do their signature doggy paddle when they’re submerged in water, for many, that is the extent of their natural swimming abilities. Whether it's their very first time in the water or just the first time this year, it’s important to gauge your dog's comfort around water in a calm, shallow area before heading into deeper water.
Every dog is different and some might not like the water entirely. To help build their confidence, you should always let your dog enter the water at their own pace. You can help encourage hesitant dogs with treats or waterproof dog toys.
For beginners and expert swimmers alike, a life jacket can add an extra layer of safety and peace of mind, especially for dogs who are not strong swimmers. If your dog is already comfortable in the water, a life jacket should always be worn on boats and near deep water or strong currents. The Ruffwear Float Coat is the ultimate in canine flotation and water safety. For dogs that love to join their humans rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing and paddle boarding, this life jacket is designed for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Be Sun Smart
When the air temperature is 30°C, sand and asphalt can reach well over 50°C. Protect your dog's paws from burns on scorching pavement and searing sand with PawZ Rubber Boots or the KIN+KIND Nose & Paw Wax Stick. It’s important to also apply an SPF to the sensitive and more exposed areas like the ears, nose, muzzle, pink skin areas and the entire coat of light coloured or short haired dogs.
Even though swimming helps to keep your dogs cool on a hot day, dehydration and overheating are still something to be mindful of. Avoid letting your dog drink the water they’re swimming in, as lakes and rivers can have harmful bacteria, pool water is chlorinated and salty ocean water will only dehydrate them more. Always make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean water to keep them hydrated. These travel water bowls are a great lightweight option to bring along on your next swimming adventure.
For more safety products to beat the summer heat, click here.
After a fun day chasing toys in the water, it's important to do some post-swimming doggy aftercare. Your dog’s skin can get irritated and dried out from pool and salt water, so it's important to always rinse them off with fresh water. For some extra moisture, use KIN+KIND’s Oatmeal Shampoo or Rosemary Peppermint Itchy Pet Shampoo.
Drying out your dog's ears, especially for those with down folded ears – this is an important step to avoid swimmer's ear, infections and discomfort. Vet's Best Dry Dog Ear Relief keeps your dog's ears fresh and dry post swimming, while helping to soothe raw, irritated, or greasy ears.
Now that you’ve got dog water safety down, check out our tips on how to build a first aid kit for your dog and how to plan the perfect camping trip with your dogs.