Open-Water Safety Tips for Dog Owners

Looking to hit the water for the long weekend? Whether you’re a new pawrent or a long-time dog-owner, it’s important to review water safety to help keep your pup safe. 

Make Sure the Water is Fido-friendly 

  • Checking the colour of the water is a great way to tell if it’s safe to swim in. Stay away from water with blue-green algae as it may be toxic.

Check for Wildlife, Cedar Itch & Duck Lice 

  • Research the area beforehand and avoid areas with cedar itch or duck lice.
  • Look for land and water animals that might be dangerous or aggressive towards your pet.

Look at the Water Levels & Current Strength

  • If you’re headed to a river or creek, make sure the water isn’t too strong for your dog to swim in safely. 
  • Check the water levels, so you’re aware of any sharp rocks or potentially dangerous areas before dock-diving or playing fetch. 
  • Ensure there is an easy access point for your dog to go in safely and out of the water. 

Practice Safe Swimming

  • Make sure your dog is comfortable swimming. Never force or throw your dog into the water.
  • Swimming can be tiring and strenuous for your pet, so don’t overdo it! Ensure they have a shady spot to rest and recharge. 

Watch your Pet 

  • Never leave your dog by a body of water unattended.
  • Make sure your pup isn’t getting too tired and see if they need help getting out of the water. 

Protect Your Dog From Drowning 

  • Did you know that some dogs aren’t natural-born swimmers? Breeds like English bulldogs, pugs and other breeds with short snouts and barrel chests aren’t built for swimming and may need a lifejacket to keep them safe on the water. 
  • Watch how many waves your pet is eating. If they take in too much water, they might experience secondhand drowning.

After-Swimming Care

  • Rinse off your dog with clean water and dry them off with a towel
  • Carefully wipe and dry the inside of their ears to prevent any potential ear infections 
  • Feed them lots of Chesterman Chew treats for being such a good swimmer! 

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