1. The first water safety tip is to start your dog out slowly. Don't just throw your dog in to the deep end. If it's your dog's first time swimming, you'll want to give your dog a chance to figure out how to swim before going in the deep water. Start in shallow waters and slowly work towards deeper waters.
2. The second tip is to never leave your dog unattended in water. When your dog is swimming, you should be keeping a constant eye on them. You should also try to remain near your dog in case of emergencies where you need to get to your pup quickly. If your dog becomes exhausted, caught up in a strong current, or caught on something, you'll want to be able to quickly help your dog out of that situation.
3. Another tip is that you should always pay close attention to your dog so you can tell if he's getting tired. Some dogs don't want to admit when they are too tired to continue playing. If your dog is getting slower and is having trouble staying afloat, it may be time to take a break. During your breaks, you should provide a fresh, cool drink for your dog.
4. Next, you should avoid letting your dog drink water from pools or from the ocean. Most home swimming pools use chlorine to maintain a clean pool. Drinking from a swimming pool can make your dog feel sick. Ocean water should also be avoided when your pup is looking for a drink. The salt can make your dog sick.
5. The fifth tip is to take frequent breaks so your dog doesn't exhaust himself. We all know that chasing after a ball can be a lot of fun when you're getting in the water to cool yourself down. Even though your dog is having a great time, it's important to take breaks frequently. Breaks will help to prevent exhaustion and give your dog a chance to take a drink of cool water.
6. Finally, you should buy a life jacket for your dog in case he becomes exhausted and can't make it back to you. When you're allowing your dog to swim in a lake, river or ocean, a life jacket can be very beneficial. In rivers and lakes, the tides and current can be a bit much for your dog. Swimming can be very tiring for a dog, especially if they are fighting against the tide. If your dog is overwhelmed, a life jacket will help keep your dog above water if he's struggling to do it. This will give you the time you need to make it to your pup to ensure he safely gets back to shore.
The tips above will ensure that you and your dog have a great, and safe, swimming experience. Safety should always play a major part in swimming with your dog. Once you get the basics down, your dog will be able to have a great time in the water without the risk of any problems.
Wayne Booth is owner of Canine Behavior Specialists, http://www.CanineBehaviorSpecialists.com in Nashville, TN where he helps people train their dogs and solve behavior problems. Wayne has been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of the Canine Behavior Specialists Network, http://www.K9-University.com.
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