Most of us take for granted that our furry friends can doggy paddle around the pool. While this isn’t untrue, it doesn’t mean all dogs are great swimmers or that your pooch isn’t at risk while playing in the water. If you just bought a home in Irvine with a pool, it’s important to know how to keep your pup safe while playing in the water.
Bigger Dogs Do Better
Bigger dogs that have long limbs and a muscular structure, like Portuguese water dogs, labs, standard poodles, setters, and retrievers, are all strong swimmers who tend to enjoy frolicking in the water. Smaller, stockier dogs with shorter legs like pugs and dachshunds are likely to have trouble staying afloat in the water.
Dogs Can Be Scared of the Water
Like people, some dogs are scared of the water. If your dog has never been in the water before, don’t just toss him in. Introduce him–slowly–to the swimming pool. You might even get a ramp designed especially for pups who play in the pool that helps them get in and out easily without help from a human. And, like children, dogs should never be left unsupervised while they’re playing in the pool.
Dog Life Jackets Are a Thing
If you’ve got a dog that isn’t a strong swimmer, get a life jacket. There are floatation devices designed just for dogs that come in a huge variety of sizes, have a float section under the dog’s chin to make sure the head stays out of the water, and many have handles on top making it easy to just pluck the dog out of the water.
Just like humans, dogs have sensitive skin and it’s important to rinse them off after being in the pool whether it was chlorine or saltwater. Use a shampoo, too, to make sure to get any chemicals off the skin, which can cause irritation or itchiness. There are also dog-friendly sunscreens out there to protect your pooch from the harsh sunrays.
On hot days, make sure your dog stays cool and hydrated, especially if he’s been playing in the water. You can get a cooling mat to keep in the shade as well as a special dog bowl with a gel core that can be frozen and keeps the water in the bowl colder for hours on end.
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