Safety Tips for Taking Your Dog Swimming On Those Hot Summer Days

Updated: February 23, 2019 at 3:44 pm, Author: Alice

When temperatures sore and days become unbearably hot, it’s natural to want to take a dip in the swimming pool. And when their people jump into a nice, refreshing pool of water, the dogs, of course, are going to want to follow. But is it safe for them to swim in a chlorinated body of water? This is the question that many dog owners ask themselves before they allow Fido to swim with them.
A dog’s eyes, nose and ears are much more sensitive than that of their human friends, and while chlorine may not affect you or your two-legged loved ones at all, it could be harmful to your pooch in large doses. For this reason, if you are going to take your dog swimming with you on those hot summer days, there are some safety tips you should keep in mind.

a dog swimming in a pool

Know What Chlorine Levels Are Safe

Like all chemicals, chlorine has the potential to be dangerous if consumed in large doses. Most pools contain very diluted levels of chlorine which are safe for your pooch even if he does take a lap (or two or five) from the swimming pool. To put things into perspective, dogs and other animals are much more likely to become ill from swimming in a pool, pond or other body of water that is infested with unknown microorganisms such as amoeba than they are to get sick from chlorine poisoning.


With that said, you should still keep an eye on your pet while you’re by the pool and make sure that he doesn’t consume large amounts of chlorinated water. Moreover, pay attention to your pet drinks the pool water. Don’t let him drink the water directly after adding chemicals, as that is when the chemical concentration is at its highest. Additionally, don’t let your pet paddle and gulp. Even if they don’t consume a ton of chlorine, they can consume enough to cause a GI infection that way. They may even suffer from uncomfortable gas, as large amounts of chlorinated water can cause irrigation to the airways.


Finally, even though chlorine may not cause any significant, long-term damage to your pooch, it can irritate the skin, eyes and ears, which can lead to serious discomfort to your pet, especially if symptoms are not treated right away.


Chlorine in concentrated forms is the most dangerous for any living creature, dogs and humans alike. Chlorine tablets should be stowed away in a sealable container and placed out of reach of children and animals. Even though dogs and other small animals are turned off by the scent of chlorine, the container should be one that your dog cannot chew through, just to be safe.


Swimming Safety Rules for Dogs

To make sure that your pooch has a good time When he’s in the pool and remains comfortable and in good health when he’s out, there are a few safety tips you should adhere to both before, during and after your dog takes a dip:


Make Sure Your Dog Knows How to Swim

This one might seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people just throw their dogs in the water just that their pooch can figure out the rest. While it’s true that many dogs have the innate ability to tread water, just as many do not. In fact, some dogs breeds such as bulldogs and terriers, have bodies that are just not made for swimming. Before throwing your dog into the deep end, place him in a kiddie pool to see how he reacts. If he treads water, great! He may be ready for the shallow end. However, if he freaks out and starts to go under well, then, he may require a doggie life vest. Or, you know, you can just keep him out of the water.


Additionally, don’t just assume that your pooch knows how to swim because he’s a poodle. Dogs abilities, like humans, are strongly dependent on his personality. If your canine is adventurous and active, he’s probably a strong swimmer. However, if he’s lazy and indoors-y, he may not even try to swim. Keep this in mind before throwing your dog into the water as well.


Do Some Obedience Training

Even if your dog is an excellent swimmer, make sure he’s obedient before you allow him near the water. This is for your own safety, the safety of your loved ones and the safety of your pet. If your dog doesn’t listen when you call him, or deliberately ignores your commands, keep him away from the pool. A disobedient dog near the water is a recipe for disaster.


Learn Pet CPR

Again, it doesn’t matter how well your dog can swim—pet CPR is still a necessity. Accidents are called accidents for a reason. If your pooch ingests too much water, gets tired while in the deep end or becomes injured while out in them water, it is your responsibility to bring him to safety. Pet CPR can help you revive your pooch if something should happen to him.


Make Sure Your Dog Can Get Out of the Pool

Just like it’s important that your dog knows how to swim, it’s also important that he knows how to get out of the pool himself. While you should leave your pooch unattended when in or near water, there might be a time when you’re unable to keep an eye on him and, say, your three year old at the same time. Teach him that if he wants or needs to get out, he can without your help.

Additionally, dogs are very one-tracked-minded. If they don’t think there is an exit, they will continue treading water long past the point of fatigue. Don’t allow this to happen, and let your dog know that he’s welcome to leave the water at any time.


Always Watch Your Pup

We touched on this point briefly in the previous point, but we feel it’s important enough to warrant it’s own section. Never leave your pooch unattended in or near water. Treat your dog like you would a child and always escort them to a pool or body of water, and then stay with them until they are done swimming. Make sure your pool is not easily accessible and surround it with a fence and pool gate. Keep the gate closed whenever you’re not around, and don’t make the fence easily “hoppable”—especially if your pooch is more active and athletic than others.


Rinse Offer After Swimming

To make sure your canine doesn’t develop any skin reactions to the chlorine, and to keep them smelling nice and clean after a long dip in the pool, give them a bath after they’re done swimming for the day. This will ensure that any residual chemicals are washed off their coat and that they don’t develop any skin reactions or any other negative reactions to sitting chlorine.

Additionally, make sure to drain your pup’s ears and clean them out, as dogs’ ears are especially sensitive. Do the same with their eyes.


Keep Your Dog Out of the Pool

If you just don’t want your dog in the pool, period, but if they are bound and determined to hop in along with you, there are tips that you can use to keep them out. For one, you can implement a physical boundary, as in a fence. While this will definitely keep him out of the water, it might cause other problems, such as barking when he’s left out of the family fun. A better way to keep your pool pooch-free is to create a psychological barrier. If you have a pool and decide to adopt a dog, teach them from the very beginning what is and is not off limits. This includes the pool. Teach your dog that they are only welcome onto and into things when they’re invited. For instance, make sure that your dog knows that it’s not okay to hop up onto the sofa unless you ask him to join you. Don’t let him crawl into bed with you until you give the go-ahead. Training like this will prepare him for pool season, and will ensure that he doesn’t just assume that it’s okay to take a dip with you—it’s only okay if you ask him to.


Train Your Dog With Bully Sticks

Dogs just want to have fun too! Whether you want to teach your pooch to swim or want to teach him to relax by the side of the pool while you and your two-legged loved ones splash around, the right treats can help make training go a lot smoother than without them. At The Bully Stick Shoppe, we have just the treats you need to help your dog become the best pool-side canine around. From 100% natural, made in America bully sticks to delectable and au natural chicken treats, we have healthy and tasty treats that dogs and their humans alike love. Visit our store online to place your order today!

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