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Eight Water Safety Tips for Dogs | Let Your Dog Swim This Summer!

Eight Water Safety Tips for Dogs | Let Your Dog Swim This Summer!

Aug 29, 2023

Pet parents who enjoy swimming know that summertime means lots of fun in the water with their furry buddy. Whether it's at the beach, in ocean water, in a backyard pool, or in shallow water, it is important to take safety precautions wherever you go. Some dogs truly love to swim, some don’t, but to see them playing in the water is a real pleasure, regardless!

Responsible dog owners know that nothing is more important than keeping their dogs safe while swimming. Sadly, a lot of dogs lose their lives in drowning incidents because of owners who either leave their dogs unattended or make the false assumption that all dogs are natural-born swimmers. The reality of it is that thousands of family pets will be lost to drowning accidents every year - many go unreported.

At Bully Sticks Direct, our love for dogs goes beyond simply providing them with the best all-natural chews and treats a dog can "woof" for. Keeping your dog safe is our priority, as well! In this blog, we share several great safety tips that will help you make the most of the summer with your trusty steeds!

Not All Dogs Love the Water

Before you take your dog swimming, know that not all dogs are good swimmers. In fact, much like humans, while some dogs are great swimmers, some get by with a basic doggie paddle, others simply don't like swimming, and a few breeds should ideally never be allowed in deep water.

Furthermore, before you assume that your pets are natural swimmers, take some time to consider the following:

Importance of Dog Breeds

Some dog breeds seem to be born to enjoy water play, such as the Irish Water Spaniel or the Labrador Retriever.

However, there are certain types, called brachycephalic breeds, which have no business stepping into a swimming pool without the aid of a flotation device. These dogs all share the same characteristics: short snouts, short legs, and flat faces that make it difficult for them to swim or stay afloat.

Examples of such breeds include Bulldogs, Pugs, Bull Terriers, and more. A close eye needs to be kept on these dogs whenever they are either on a boat or anywhere close to water.

Teach Your Dog How to Swim

Even dogs that eventually become expert swimmers need to learn first before venturing out into deeper water. As with any other dog training exercise, positive reinforcement seems to work best when teaching most dogs how to swim.

According to the American Kennel Club, a few treats here and there will keep your dog motivated and allow them to learn much faster. Bully Sticks Direct has a wide range of natural dog chews and treats that are perfect fordog training.

Until you are confident enough to take your dog swimming without flotation devices, always keep them wrapped up in a secure life jacket, especially for pups and older dogs. The fact is, in swimming pools alone, over 5,000 family pets were lost to a drowning incident in their own backyard.

Learn Canine CPR

Regardless of how well your dog can swim, accidents happen. Knowing canine CPR is a great skill to have as a pet owner. After a day of swimming, many dogs are at risk of getting tired, suffering cramps, or having a swimmer's tail, which might cause them to drown even in relatively shallow water. In such cases, knowing how to resuscitate your dog could very well save their life. What’s more, you could very well be the only person around that could save another’s dog life!

Stay Vigilant

Whenever you have your dog outdoors, stay alert and remember all the important safety tips for dogs you have learned. The water poses many dangers for your pets regardless of how well they have been trained.

Some Great Water Safety Tips to Consider

Now that you are ready to enjoy the great outdoors and spend time in the water with your furry best friend, here are a few life-saving tips for dogs for you to remember:

1. Never Leave Your Dog Unattended

The general rule, even if your pets are excellent swimmers, is to never leave them unattended. Small dogs especially need extra care because they can easily drown even in shallow water. If you are doing something that may keep you distracted for more than a few minutes at a time, then providing life vests to help keep your dog afloat in times of emergency is a good idea. If you plan on leaving your dog alone in the yard, then it would be worth it to purchase a pool cover.

2. Pay Attention to Water Conditions

Even great swimmers can struggle and become disoriented if they venture out into the water in poor conditions. Public beaches usually provide a lot of information regarding water temperature, big waves, strong currents, and sharp hooks that you and your dog need to steer clear of. Pay attention to these warnings because both your lives depend on them.

3. Try A Life Jacket

Buying a doggie life vest is great for adding to your peace of mind, especially if you have a highly active dog that you can't seem to keep away from the water. The extra support provided by a life jacket will help your dog to catch its breath during long bouts of water play. Many different life vest designs will suit dogs of all sizes.

4. Dry Off Properly

A dog's skin is not made to be kept wet for extended periods, so after you are done swimming, you should take time to properly dry your dog, especially puppies which are very susceptible to catching a cold if left wet for too long. Invest in a good drying towel to keep your pup healthy.

5. Watch Out for Blue-Green Algae

The freshwater you and your dog swim in has many inherent dangers, such as algae and bacteria which can easily make your dog sick if left untreated. The chance of an ear infection is particularly high when swimming in ponds, lakes, or pools. However, even saltwater carries its own risks to the well-being of your dog, so it is always good to have some ear cleaner solution handy.

6. Provide Fresh Drinking Water

Swimming provides a lot of high-intensity exercise for your dog, meaning when your dog comes out of the water, they will be very thirsty. Rather than risking them drinking from potentially dangerous sources, always bring drinking water for your pet.

7. Wash Your Dog After

Saltwater from the ocean, and even other open water, such as a pond or lake, can be very bad for your dog's skin. Therefore, it is advisable to always wash your pet thoroughly after a day of swimming, paying particular attention to places that are prone to infections, such as the ears and snout.

8. Be Patient When You Teach Your Dog How to Swim

Just like when learning new tricks, it may take time for your dog to become a good swimmer. Be very patient and avoid taking them out to deep water too soon. There is nothing like a traumatic near-drowning incident to put your dog off swimming for good.

Bully Sticks for Dogs Are Great Training Aids!

At Bully Sticks Direct, we have the best bully sticks and other natural chews and treats for puppies and adult dogs that have been shown to improve the way your pet responds to training. The prospect of chewing on our delicious all-natural dog treats is enough to have your dog wagging its tail all the way to the pool. They also come in very handy when traveling with dogs as a way to keep your pet happy and calm.

Reward your dog for obedience with any one of the following preservative-free dog treats:

●Bully Sticks

●Achilles Tendons

●Turkey Tendons

●Gullet - Taffy

●Pork Springs

If you want nothing but the best for your dog, then visit for the most premium, natural, nutritious, and safe chews on the market.

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