The dog days of summer are officially here! Many people like to cool off on hot days by heading for a pool or lake. Our canine pals also can enjoy a nice dip now and then. Here, an Omaha, NE vet discusses swimming with Fido.
Some dogs take to water like furry, four-legged ducks. Others? Not so much. If your canine buddy can’t swim, take time to teach him the doggy paddle. Get into the water with Fido, and hold him up while he is learning. Use praise and ear scritches to reward him for his progress. Never throw your dog into the water: this could frighten him, and make him scared of the water!
First and foremost, if you take your pooch to a pool, immediately show him where the stairs are, so he can get out again if he falls in by mistake. This is very important! If you have an above-ground pool, get a pet ladder for your pup. We also recommend fencing the pool off when not in use. Keep in mind that pool covers can be very dangerous for dogs. Fido could be in serious trouble if his mistakes the cover for a solid surface, and steps onto it!
Never bring Fido anywhere with strong currents or heavy wakes. Keep a close eye on your pet, and don’t leave him unattended. Also, make sure your furry friend knows important doggy commands, like Sit, Stay, and Come, before heading for your favorite swimming hole. If your pup isn’t a good swimmer, get a doggy lifejacket for him.
Did you know that dogs can get sunburns? This is particularly problematic for pooches with pale or thin fur. Ask your vet for advice on using sunscreen on Fido. We recommend rinsing your pet off when he gets out of the water, to get the pool chemicals out of his fur.
Fido’s paw pads become very delicate when wet, just like human skin. Your dog can get painful blisters and abrasions by running on hot or harsh surfaces right after going swimming. Keep your canine companion on soft ground when he gets out of the water, and use paw balm to protect his furry feet.
Is your dog due for vaccinations, parasite control, or an exam? Contact us, your Omaha, NE pet hospital, today!