This is the third in a four part series about keeping your dog safe around water.
Many of us love taking our dogs to a favorite watering hole. Lakes and rivers can be a lot of fun with your dog, but it could also be a vet trip if you're not prepared properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind when taking your dog out for a swim.
Freshwater bodies can be dangerous because of the uncertainty of what is in the water; organisms, chemicals, human and animal waste, gasoline and oil from boats. Parasites that can be ingested from drinking the water or eating blooms or plant life pose a big threat. Marshy, muddy, or stagnant pools of water are particularly dangerous. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog and provide him with plenty of clean drinking water and lead him away from natural sources of water. He could potentially get a parasite that can be spread through feces, which means you or your other animals can catch the parasite as well. If you see any vomiting, seizures, diarrhea, or lethargy be sure to take him to a vet right away. If untreated your dog may experience kidney damage, liver failure, nervous system damage, and death. If caught soon enough, Fido will be fine!
If you decide to take your dog to a river be careful of fast moving water. Consider buying your dog a water safety vest. Even the surest of swimmers can get exhausted in rough waters. Also, be sure your dog has a place to exit the water easily.
Be considerate when letting your dog off leash. Be sure your dog is well trained and will respond to your commands.
Be prepared for transporting your dog back home. Don’t forget to bring plenty of towels to dry your dog off and have something to protect your car from the water and mud your dog will track in.
After coming home from a trip to the lake or river, give your dog a full head to toe; rinse him off with fresh water and be sure to dry his ears as soon as possible, check his pads for cuts, check his skin for ticks, and brush him to get possible thorns or plant life off his body.