Water Safety

The sunshine is here!

If I put a paddling pool out in the garden, Jake may stand in it for cooling purposes, but neither Jake or Truly are fans of swimming. Leo was. He absolutely loved to go into the sea whatever the weather. The only way I could keep him out was to keep him on the lead!

Not all dogs enjoy swimming or paddling, but you can test the water (so to speak) with a shallow paddling pool in the garden. Don’t force them, you can encourage them by throwing a toy into the water to see if they will step in.

If after positive paddle tests at home you decide to take your dog swimming, start slow and shallow. Take toys and treats too, to make sure it’s an enjoyable event. Another scenario where good recall is important, so you know they won’t zoom off out of their depth! If you aren’t sure, keep on lead.

There are buoyancy aids for dogs. One that’s reflective, with a grab handle on the back is recommended. A good fit will mean the aid doesn’t cause friction, and your dog can move freely in and out of the water. Look for more than one secure fastening to stop it moving around, and ideally a connector to attach their lead.

I did only let Leo swim in daylight and spring/summer. Never in flowing or swollen rivers, choppy sea, or in canals or reservoirs. Dogs can become very ill from stagnant water. Blue-green algae that sits on the surface is toxic to dogs, and stagnant water can also spread leptospirosis from rat urine… Leptospirosis is one of the core vaccine boosters provided by your vet.

The RNLI have some safely advice on coastal walking with your dog. Dogs Trust have a great article on ‘things to look out for when walking by water’.

Stay safe and enjoy

Until next time



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