Water Safety for Dogs

As summer closes in, many of us are looking forward to some fun in the sun. When it comes to fun activities like grilling and swimming, many of us like to take our canine buddies along. After all, Fido is family, too! You’ll want to be sure to keep your furry pal safe in and near water, however. In this article, a local Colorado Springs veterinarian goes over water safety for dogs.


While some dogs take to water like, well, furry, four-legged ducks, others aren’t exactly natural swimmers. Some dogs actually need to be taught how to do the doggy paddle! Take time for some doggy swim lessons before taking your dog around water. Never throw your dog into a pool with the expectation that he’ll figure out how to swim: this is not only very dangerous, it can also backfire, and cause Fido to develop a fear of water.


Proper pool safety is very important for our canine pals. First of all, make sure that Fido knows where the pool stairs are, so he can get out by himself if he ever falls in. It isn’t a bad idea to mark the exit with a visual landmark, like a potted tree. Older dogs, pooches with impaired vision, and puppies are at higher risk of accidentally falling in, so if your pooch is one of these, consider fencing off your pool. Covered pools can also be very dangerous, as dogs can hop onto them, thinking the surface is solid.


Make sure your dog is properly trained before taking him to a lake: you don’t want him jumping off a boat or dock, or swimming out too far. Also, when swimming with your dog, keep a close eye on him. Pups can get exhausted and get into trouble very quickly, even close to shore. Don’t forget to bring fresh water for Fido: you don’t want him drinking lake water!


Fido’s paws will be very sensitive after being immersed in water. Don’t bring your pooch onto hot cement, tar, gravel, or sand right after he’s gone swimming, as he could easily get painful burns or blisters. Protect his paw pads by using paw wax or balm.

Does your canine buddy need shots or an examination? Please contact us! As your Colorado Springs veterinary clinic, we are here to serve all your pet care needs.