The first day of summer is just around the corner so everyone is heading outside to the local lake, backyard pool or beach. This includes dogs. According to Camp Bow Wow, approximately 40,000 pets die in drowning accidents each year. Does your dog know how to swim? Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow offers these tips so your pet can go swimmingly into summer.
- Provide a way out – Make sure your pet always has a safe and easy way out of the pool. If your pet has trouble with stairs, install a ramp or floating ramp so pets can safely exit the water.
- NEVER let your dog drink from the pool – Pools are full of chemicals. Keep a bowl of fresh water nearby for them to use.
- Install a pool barrier – Just as you would for small children, self-closing and locking gates around a backyard pool area keep kids and pets from entering the water when you are not around to watch them.
- Use a pet life jacket – Just like people, pets can get cramps or tired while swimming. A life jacket, especially when in an open body of water, provides that extra help in case a pet becomes exhausted while far from shore. If a pet gets pulled away by currents or tides, life jackets can also help them survive until you can get to them.
- Provide a post-swim rinse – Pool chemicals, dirt and water bacteria can remain on your pet after they exit the water, especially when swimming in stagnant water, such as ponds. Always rinse off your pet after a swim. Don’t forget to remove a wet collar to dry after swimming.
- Know your pet – While most dogs enjoy the water, some breeds have physical limitations and natural inhibitions that prevent them from swimming. Some dogs just don’t like the water. Learn about your dog’s breed and how they relate to water.
- Install an alarm – Pool alarms are an important safety device for pets and children. Collar alarms are available specifically for pets while pool alarms warn adults when the water in the pool has been disturbed.
- Do NOT force a dog into water – Playfully tossing your dog into water can be traumatizing to an unprepared pup. This is NOT the best way to introduce a dog to the water. Let the dog discover water on his own while under your watchful eye.
- Get a Giardia vaccination – Giardia is a protozoan parasite that causes giardiasis inside the small intestines and can infect both humans and animals. Symptoms are violent diarrhea, stomach cramps, upset stomach and nausea. Giardia parasites live in water sources. If your dog will be swimming in lakes and/or rivers, consider getting the Giardia vaccine to prevent your pet from getting sick.
Camp Bow Wow, based in Broomfield, CO, is the nation’s largest pet services company with over 200 North American franchises. They provide a safe and fun place for dogs to play and socialize. Day camps and overnight stays are available. Other services include grooming, training and retail items with certified “Camp Counselors” at each location. To learn more, visit CampBowWow.com.
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