As the summer gets nearer, dog owners must take care to ensure their pooches don’t overheat.
Unlike us, dogs don’t sweat out excess body heat – so it’s very important to make sure they are cool in the hotter weather.
Why not let them take a refreshing dip in your pool? Or even get them their own dog swimming pool!
Here’s what you need to know about letting your pooch go paddling.
Can Your Dog Swim?
This may seem like an obvious point to make, but a dog needs to be able to swim before you let it loose in your pool.
Most dogs instinctively can swim, but if your pet has never tried it before, make sure it knows what it’s doing.
Timid dogs may panic or struggle in the water, so it’s important to recognize whether or not your pet would actually WANT to go swimming. Like humans, it might just not be for them.
It’s likely, therefore, that your dog will be able to swim if it is attracted to water and if it’s confident.
It’s also important to know that this isn’t determined by the dog’s breed. Even larger, stronger dogs might be frightened or nervous around water, while smaller, weaker pooches may take to it like a duck to… well, water.
Have You Got a Dog Life Vest?
Much like you would kit out a child with a life vest, there are products on the market that will help your dog stay afloat.
Again, if you’re easing your pet into swimming in the pool, this might be a good idea to get them started.
These life vests – available at pet stores – are bright and buoyant and will help with your dog’s first forays into the water.
Know Your Dog’s Obedience Levels
It’s important for a dog to be well trained anyway, but this is even more important when it comes to letting them loose in the pool.
It’s crucial that your pet knows what ‘come’ means so that you can call him or her to you when you need to, should you need to rush them out of the water.
Practice this with your dog before letting them go swimming, and be sure to have doggie treats on hand for when they do as they’re told.
Have the Vet’s Number On Hand (and Learn Pet CPR)
In case there is an emergency, you should familiarize yourself with pet CPR. This means you may be able to help your dog, should it have problems in the water.
And of course, have the vet’s number on speed dial should anything worrying happen.
Keep a Close Eye
Don’t leave your dog unattended while it’s in the water.
Whether they are the most competent swimmers or not, this is important. You never know what could happen. You wouldn’t leave your children alone in the pool, so don’t leave your dog.
Just be aware that they’re taking a swim and be sure to keep an eye on them.
Is the Pool Dog-Friendly?
If you have a pool that your pet can’t get out of, it’s not a sensible idea to let them swim in it.
If there is a sudden need for your pooch to get out, it needs to be able to do so of its own accord. A pool with high sides is not suitable.
Invest in a Dog Swimming Pool
Install a dog swimming pool at your home just for your pooch!
This is a great idea if you don’t want your dog in the main, larger pool; or if your main pool isn’t dog-friendly.
Perhaps you haven’t got the room for a large pool at your home, but you do have space for a doggie pool. Treat your pooch and install one for them.
Dog pools can also be custom built at a certain depth so that you don’t have to worry about your pup in deep waters.
Don’t Drink the Water
Swimming pool water is full of chemicals and it’s not appropriate to let a dog ingest it.
Be sure to teach them this. If they try to drink from the pool, tell them not to. And have fresh drinking water on hand by the poolside for them when they get out.
After all, swimming can be thirsty work.
Walking and playing are some of the fun pastimes that come with being a dog owner.
And swimming can be too.
When your dog swims in the pool, get in with him or her and play with them. It’s a great way to enjoy time with your pet, and you’re keeping an eye on their safety too.
Play catch and fetch with your canine companion in the water, just as you would on the grass.
When your pup is finished frolicking in the waters, make sure you rinse them with fresh water, from the hose.
It’s important to get rid of the chlorine on their coats to keep them healthy – just like you would take a shower after a swim yourself.
Give them a bath with shampoo too if you can – it’s best to get them clean and fluffy again after their time in the pool.
A Cool Dog is a Happy Dog
Tempted to invest in a dog swimming pool for your home, to keep your pooch happy and healthy?
Don’t delay! If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us for a free consultation today. We can make your (and your canine companion’s) dream pool a reality.