Water Safety and your Pets

 

 

We all need to take a day to relax at the beach every now and again and with both the temperature and humidity rising, it seems like it’s nearly impossible to enjoy your time outside, unless you take a trip to the local beach. Now, you know to pack the “floaties” and life jackets and sunscreen for the kiddos and yourself but did you make sure to pack some things for your furry friend? It may not be something you think of right away but it’s something that is very important.  

 

Here are some things to remember before you pack of the family and head out to cool off at the beach: 

Not all dogs are great at swimming

Yes dogs all have a natural instinct to move in the water to try and stay afloat but that’s not always what happens. Some dogs are not natural swimmers and in some cases they can drown fast. Be sure to keep an eye on your pet every time you go and if they’re taking their first dip try them out at the shoreline where you are able to assist and where they can comfortably test the waters, literally. 

Dogs should have a life preserver just in case

If you have a life preserver for everyone on board then you should be sure to invest in one for your pet. They can’t call for help and they can be more likely to panic than humans because they don’t understand exactly what to do other than try and stay afloat. The American Kennel Club has given tips for choosing the best and safest life preserver possible 

 

  • Try and choose a vest with a handle, this makes it easier to grab hold of them in an emergency
  • Having a D-ring attached is also a wonderful idea if you’re planning on going to a public beach, that way you can attach a leash and not have to worry about your dog running off! 
  • There is a difference between a life jacket and a life vest
    • jackets cover more of your pet and offer more buoyancy and visibility in the water making it great for activities such as boating.
    • A life vest covers less of the dog and can be okay if your dog is generally used to swimming in a pool. 
  • The last tip is to choose a bright and reflective color. In an emergency situation it can be imperative that you can see exactly where you dog is in the water.

 

Something that people may forget is that dogs don’t really understand the concept of “resting” while swimming, they won’t ever know how to tread water to catch their breath, they will swim until they can’t anymore and so watch them closely. Even the dogs that tend to be natural born swimmers can lose steam after working themselves too hard. 

 

It has also been noted that many may not think that safety precautions, such as life preservers, are important with their pets as they are with humans but that’s not always the case. Having a “just in case” plan A is better than needing a plan B. Your pet is your family and so be sure that their trip to the beach is just as happy and successful as your own!