pug on a paddleboard.

During the summer, there’s nothing like jumping into a crisp, cool body of water. If you want to include your pet in this summer fun, it’s important to do so safely. Introducing your pet to water could be the best way to beat the heat, and with our guide to swimming safety, you can both enjoy all the season has to offer. 

Natural Swimmer?

Some pets take to the water, while others regard it with suspicion and fear. Some pets may like the water, but just aren’t built for swimming. Whatever the case may be, it is vitally important to assess a pet’s experience, lifestyle, and capabilities before launching into a weekend near the water. 

How a PFD Can Save a Life

A great way to introduce your pet to water is by outfitting them with a comfortable personal flotation device (PFD), or lifejacket. These come in a variety of designs and colors, and some feature a handle on the back that you can use to lift them. Encourage your pet to wear their PFD around the house or in the backyard so they’re comfortable wearing it long before they enter the water. 

Always Watching

Regardless of the circumstances, pet owners must keep a watchful eye on their pets anytime they’re near water. It’s easy to mistake enthusiasm for the water with competency, and even skilled swimmers can find themselves in a jam. 

Installing an alarm around a pool or water feature can work well at home, but in the outdoors a tether may work best for decreasing the chances of loss or separation. 

How to Get Out

It ‘s critical to teach a pet how to safely enter and exit water. This is great for pools, and can be applied to rivers, lakes, and the ocean as well. If your pet happens to accidentally fall in or enter the water without supervision, you can rest assured that they know exactly how to get out. 

Swimming With Pets

To promote the best possible experience this summer, we recommend the following pet safety tips:

  • Always have fresh, clean water on hand to limit a pet’s exposure to harmful contaminants or chemicals. Remember, pet hydration is essential even on a cool, cloudy day (swimming requires a lot of pet energy!). 
  • Rinse your pet with clean water following any time in the pool, ocean, or freshwater. 
  • Pat them dry.
  • Tether them to you, the boat, dock, or railing to ensure they cannot float away. If panic sets in, pets may lose their ability to effectively paddle. 

Expect the Best

It can take time for pets to acclimate to new activities, and swimming is no exception. Give them time to learn they can trust the water, and give them praise and rewards for trying. 

If you have any questions or concerns about summer pet safety, please call us at (404) 633‑6163. Clairmont Animal Hospital is always here for you!