If we have to talk about what is the great exercise to a dog, it is swimming. Well, it is a fun exercise with low impact. Your dog can stay cool even though he has to exercise on the hot days. Like everything else, of course, there are a few dangers to watch your dog is swimming. If you love to train your dog to swim, here are several safety tips you must keep in your mind.
Not All Dogs Can Swim
It is a wrong assumption to think that all dogs are the best swimmer. Some of them can take to the water naturally. Nevertheless, some of them have no physical capacity to swim effectively. They can sink like a rock.
When it comes to the ability to swim, it really depends on his body shape. For example, big chested breed with short legs like the Bulldog cannot have a good time to stay afloat. Meanwhile, those with the flat faces like the Pug are easier to deal with breathing problems and fatigue. For a small dog like Chihuahua, they can get overwhelmed if they have to deal with strong currents or big waves.
At this point, it is important to keep those factors in your mind when you want to teach your dog to swim. Not all dogs are great in swimming. Some of them still need a hell of a life jacket to keep them afloat.
The short legs and big chest in Bulldogs make them difficult to stay afloat in the water. If you see that your dog struggles with swimming, you should keep him safe by providing a life vest.
Take it Slow
Do this when you are teaching your dog to swim. They can be so nervous when you introduced them to the water for the first time. Therefore, you should take it slow to avoid overwhelming them. Besides, not all dogs can jump right in. Many of them still need some convincing that the water is not a scary thing.
What you can do is to encourage your dog to follow you into the shallow water. You should praise him and he will follow you in and then keep encouraging him to follow you around. If your dog seems comfortable in shallow water, you can then coax him out a little further with his favorite toys. Praise as he follows you around.
If he is not ready, it is better not to force. Let him explore the water based on his willingness. Some dogs can take it to the water right away and others may need a few sessions.
A Life Vest For Your Dog
It is crucial to wear a life jacket for safety when your dogs are still learning how to swim. If you think that your dog has a hard time to stay afloat or nervous in the water, a life jacket is essential to keep him safe.
Even with practice, still, there are many big chested breeds with short legs like Bulldog has a big struggle with swimming. The tendency to sink in the deep water is big. Therefore, wearing the life jacket can give them the ability to stay above the water.
Prevent Dog Drinking from Lakes or Ponds
Taking your dog swimming means you should bring fresh water to keep them hydrated. It is because ponds, lakes, swamps, and rivers are harmful to your dog because the contamination of organism that can cause diarrhea, Leptospira, and others.
Prevent Your Dog Drink From the Ocean
Your dog will be extremely sick if he drinks from the ocean. It is because the salt water has an osmotic effect, pull the liquid into his intestines. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea that also can be the biggest problem of dehydration or known as beach diarrhea.
Therefore, you should bring fresh water when you are about bringing your dog to swim in the ocean. Keep a close eye and always call him over if you see him start to drink from the ocean.
Advisories & Beach Closures
Health departments near beaches always monitor for the bacteria, especially if the presence is getting too high. Most beach encounters E.coli, the harmful pathogens in the water. If you want to go to the beach with your dog, you should check for posting at the entrance about the current advisories. Check online is also great to do.
Preventatives are the treatments to do to prevent your dog from the attack of certain illness or disease. If you love to spend time outdoors with your dog, make sure that you always consult your vet about the reasonable options for your dog. Some of them can be different based on religion and some will also depend on the activities of your dog.
Watch The Signs of Illness
Few parasites are able to transmit the waterborne diseases to your dog. In addition, they are almost impossible to spot, especially with the naked eye.
After taking your dog to swim, always watch for any symptoms or illness like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and appetite loss or even fever. If you see one of these signs, you should take your dog to the vet to get the right diagnosis and treatment. If you left waterborne in your dog untreated, it can be fatal.
The Blue-Green Algae
Also known as Cyanobacteria, it is a bacterium in the calm water like lakes and freshwater ponds. The toxins are dangerous to pets, livestock, and human. If your dog ingested the water contaminated by the blue-green algae, it can be fatal. Many of us end up by washing it up onto the shore that even creates the higher levels of concentration. If you see any suspicious looking the algae, you should keep your dog away from the water.
Rinse or wash your dog after a swim to remove any bacteria that he can collect on his fur. If you do not clean your dog after swimming, they can ingest any nasty stuff they picked when they do grooming. Besides, your dog may have a chronic ear infection if he always swims regularly. You should be attentive to your dog, such as his ear. Make sure that they are clean and dry after a swim. If you find any changes like a foul odor, visit your vet to get the right diagnosis and treatment.