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Protect Your Pooch, Water Safety Tips For Dogs.

dog swimming at the beachNothing beats a day on Florida’s waterways with a group of friends. For a lot of us, man’s best friend is included on the list of invitees. But too often, failure to heed basic water safety tips for dogs can lead to complications and worse. Take a look at these water-safety tips for dogs to ensure you—and your pet—are ready for a day on the water.

Don’t assume your dog is a good swimmer—or even knows how to swim. Its best to introduce dogs gradually to the water at a young age until they learn how to swim and become comfortable in the water. And keep in mind that some dogs aren’t built to swim. Bulldogs, for example, who have large chests and comparatively small hindquarters, aren’t good swimmers. Other breeds that have a tough time emulating Michael Phelps include those with short muzzles and those with short legs, like Pugs.

So, first things first. When Spot’s ready to splash in the water, be prepared. Buy a pet water-safety life vest, especially when on a boat. Many affordable vests are available for pets of all sizes and shapes. Learn basic pet first aid such as CPR and how to treat cuts and injuries; it may save your pal’s life. Read more to learn why.

Even if your furry companion is a water dog with a protective coat and webbed paws built for swimming, there are hazards that can present risks. Before letting Rover go for a romp in the water, check for strong currents, rip tides and choppy seas, all of which can be too challenging for even the strongest sporting swimmers.

Other water safety for dogs things to look for include blue-green algae or dead fish that can make Fido sick, and debris or underwater branches that can cause injuries.

Speaking of underwater branches, it’s a good idea to remove your canine’s collar to avoid potential snagging. Take flea collars of as well, so the protective ingredients don’t wash off.

Remember, if you’re fishing, the idea is to snag some fish, not your four-legged friend, so keep your gear safely stowed and keep the dog away from sharp hooks and barbs that can do some serious damage.

Heat from the sun intensifies on water, even on relatively cool days. Keep a supply of fresh water on hand to keep your pups hydrated and to curb their desire to drink ocean, lake or stream water which may not be good for them. One product that can help keep your dog cool is a simple slip-on evaporative water vest. And, believe it or not, dogs can sunburn too, especially ones with shorthaired light-colored coats. Common sunburn areas include the ears and the nose. Avoid overexposure to the sun and add a little extra protection with a sunscreen made just for pets.

When your outing is over, bathe Old Blue to rid skin and fur of any potentially irritating minerals, algae bacteria and pollution. Be sure to completely dry the ears to guard against infections.

So, follow these basic water safety tips for dogs to make your outing fun, enjoy the companionship of your pet and make sure to keep it safe.

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