Summer is coming up quick! Many of our canine patients enjoy swimming. There’s nothing wrong with that: swimming is not only a fun way for Fido to cool off, it’s also a great workout. However, pools can be very dangerous for Man’s Best Friend. Here, a local Norwalk, CA vet lists offers some tips for keeping your furry pal safe poolside.
Although some dogs take to the water very naturally, not all pups are born swimmers. If Fido can’t swim, it’s worth your while to teach him. Support your furry friend’s weight as he is learning, and encourage him with compliments and praise. Never, ever try to teach a dog by throwing them into the water. Some pups will just sink like stones. Even if Fido does sort out the doggy paddle, he may be so frightened by the experience that he absolutely hates water after.
One thing that is very important is making sure your dog knows where the pool stairs are. This is extremely important! Dogs can panic very quickly if they fall into a pool and don’t know how to get out. Spend some time on this training, and test Fido’s memory by going to the opposite side of the pool from the stairs and calling him to you.
Speaking of water, your canine companion will get very thirsty running and playing with his friends. Don’t let Fido drink pool water! Chlorine and other chemicals really aren’t something you want your pet ingesting. Make sure that your dog always has fresh water available.
Fido’s feet get very delicate when they are wet. Your four-legged buddy can easily get blisters from running around on concrete, sand, or gravel after going swimming. Try to keep your dog on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his paws.
Pool covers are another hazard. Dogs sometimes think that they are solid surfaces, and try to walk on them. This can be very dangerous!
We strongly recommend blocking the pool off when it isn’t in use, just as you would if you had a toddler around. This goes double for people with very small dogs, puppies, senior dogs, pooches with mobility issues, and dogs with vision impairment.
Please contact us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!