Do you plan to take your dog to the beach this summer? Many of our canine pals love to swim and play in the water. Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. Here, a Norwalk, CA vet offers some advice on keeping Fido safe at the shore.
Some dogs are natural swimmers, who take to water like furry ducks. Others? Not so much. If your pup can’t swim, take time to teach him. Support him gently while he’s learning. It’s also important to realize that some dogs—such as small dogs, brachycephalic dogs, senior pooches, and large breeds—are not well-suited for vigorous swimming. Ask your vet for advice.
Before taking your furry friend to the beach, make sure he understands basic doggy obedience commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important, as proper training can keep Fido from swimming out too far, approaching dangerous areas, or running up to strangers.
The beach can be pretty rough on your canine companion’s furry feet. Fido can get painful burns and blisters from running around on hot sand or rocks, especially right after going swimming. Dogs can also cut their paws on sharp rocks, shells, or broken glass. Use paw wax to protect your four-legged pal’s paws.
Dogs can overheat very quickly when running and playing at the beach. Bring plenty of water for your pup. You may want to get a collapsible dish, or a doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser. Also, watch for warning signs that your canine buddy is getting hot or thirsty. Some early ones are panting, drooling, and a warm back. If you see these red flags, immediately give Fido some fresh water and get him to a cool area. Contact your vet if symptoms persist.
Choose a spot that is safe for dogs. Never take your pooch anywhere with steep drop-offs, heavy wakes, high surf, or riptides. Also, never leave Fido unattended near the water, even for a few minutes.
Before you go home, rinse Fido off to get the sand and salt out of his fur. If you really want to score some tail wags, give him some doggy ice cream when you get home.
Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Norwalk, CA veterinary clinic, anytime. We are here to help!