If you have a dog who likes to swim, perhaps a labrador or another water dog, you know they will jump into any body of water for a dip, including large mud puddles and the local lake. You probably enjoy swimming with them. Before you let your pup dive in, you need to know a few facts about safe swimming in the outdoors.
Not surprisingly, your dog is not a good judge of water quality. After all, this is the same creature who will drink out of the toilet bowl if you let them. When it comes to swimming, you have to be the judge of whether the water is toxic or not. Water that is not moving is known as stagnant water and can harbor dangerous bacteria. In fact, "brain-eating amoeba" can lurk in some stagnant water, threatening the life of your pet. Blue-green algae are often present in lakes and ponds during the hot weather and can also kill your pet. To minimize this risk, check the look and smell of the water. Also, experts suggest giving your dog fresh water to drink before allowing them in an outdoor body of water. The less "natural" water they drink, the safer they will be.
Obviously, you do not want to let your dog in a creek if they are not a strong swimmer. Even dogs who are excellent swimmers can get carried away in a swift current. Before letting your animal go into the water, you need to check the current yourself by carefully wading in. Dogs, like humans, can be tricked by the shallow appearance of some water.
If you are planning an excursion that will expose your pet to various bodies of water, consult with your vet at the animal hospital before you go for tips on preventing problems. Your vet can also share the warning signs of potential water-related health issues so you can catch these conditions early and seek treatment for your dog. Early medical intervention can spare your dog and you a lot of pain.
Keeping some dogs out of the water is a nearly impossible job. You shouldn't deprive your pet of a swim in the great outdoors as long as they are a strong swimmer and the water is clear and not stagnant. Take all the precautions you can and then join in the fun. Nothing is more enjoyable than frolicking with your happy pup in a clear flowing stream.