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6 tips to Keep Your Dog Safe Around Water

May 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Keep your dog safe when playing around water

The weather is finally warming up, and it's time to get your dog out for some fun spring and summer activities. If your dog is like many others, he or she probably loves to jump into the lake, river, or creek when you go hit the water. What's more enjoyable than a cooling swim on a hot summer day? You'll probably hop in the water yourself!

But before you head out to the lake with your canine companion, make sure you're aware of the safety precautions you should be taking. You want to be sure that your dog stays safe out there on the water, and that you know where to avoid. Here are some tips to keep your pup's head above water this summer.

Summer Water Safety Tips for Your Dog

  1. Watch out for stagnant water: If you notice that a lake or area of the river isn't moving—and maybe it hasn't for a while as water levels get lower later in the year—you should be wary. Stagnant water can quickly become a fertile breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria, even brain-eating amoeba. If your dog has a cut on her leg, for instance, and hops into this water, the bacteria could cause a life-threatening infection. If the water looks and smells bad or is stagnant, it's best to avoid the area.
  2. Keep an eye out for algae: Some types of algae are deadly to dogs, and it's common to see blue-green and red varieties growing on lake and ponds during the summer time. If you notice algae, it's best to keep your dog out of the water.
  3. Invest in a life jacket: If you're bringing your dog out on a boat, it's well worth your time and money to invest in a life jacket. If your dog isn't a sure swimmer, is small, or getting older, a life jacket could save your pet's life.
  4. Bring water along: It might seem silly to bring water for your dog to a day at the lake, but it's a must. You aren't drinking the lake or creek water, and neither should your pup. There's always the potential for harmful bacteria to be lurking in the water that could cause your dog anything from minor stomach issues to a much more severe illness.
  5. Watch out for glass: It's a sad reality that many areas where you may bring your dog could be polluted with human trash like glass, metal, and fish hooks. Keep an eye out to be sure your dog's soft paws won't be punctured or sliced open on anything.
  6. Watch out for fast-moving water: Particularly in the spring time in the Treasure Valley, high rivers and fast-moving water are a hazard. If you're walking along the green belt, keep your dog on a leash. Local dogs have drown in the Boise river as it rages due to excess snow run-off and considerable rain. Don't let this tragedy happen to you.

For more information about keeping your dogs safe this summer, contact us.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.