Dogs are fun, active creatures that love to go on adventures, jump into the wilderness and discover the world around them. Despite their intelligence and ability to survive, we shouldn’t just assume that they are capable of getting through any situation all by themselves without keeping an eye on them at all times. Dogs adjust and learn quickly, but they are not born all-knowing. Although dogs are famous for being good swimmers, one cannot just throw a pup in the pool and expect it to take it easily. You have to teach them to step by step how to awaken their abilities and get used to new circumstances.
Here are a few things you could do to help your dog be ready to enjoy some splashing fun:
Teach them underwater movement
First, you need to do the obvious: Make sure your dog knows how to move in the water in order to stay afloat. You can teach them in a small plastic pool or the bathtub before actually taking them out to a real one. The first step is to hold your pup above the water and let it move its arms and legs into the water until you fully set it in and it starts to move on its own. To encourage success, you could offer a treat every now and then.
Alert it to the exit
Before taking your dog into the pool, make sure it knows how to exit. While your dog may enter the pool through jumping in, it might face some difficulties looking for a way out. Teach your dog to find the entrance/exit steps of the pool by putting it anywhere in the water and slowly guiding it to the stairs.
Secure it with a life vest
The fact that all dogs are great swimmers isn’t a fact at all, but a myth. The swimming ability of your dog is dependent on the strength of its character and personality and has nothing to do with its size or breed. If you happen to have a pup who is easily scared or shy, chances are it’s not as good of a swimmer as an outgoing, social dog. One can never be too careful with their loved ones, therefore, it is best if you buy a life vest for your dog’s protection as one may never know when it could panic or tire.
Make sure it responds when called
It is important that your dog is able to recognize simple orders and follow them before you let it into the water. The most important one is how fast and effectively your dog responds to a calling. Always reward it for coming to you when called upon, as you may never know what could happen in a matter of seconds if you are at the beach or by a pool and you need to get your dog away from certain situations.
Learn dog CPR
Buying a book or watching a few videos about CPR can be a great help not just to your pup, but anyone around you. It is essential that you always have a backup plan in case something does go wrong – despite all the odds.
CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is an act that combines both chest compression and artificial respiration. It should only be performed on crucial cases where a dog stops breathing to save it from cardiac arrest. However, it can cause some serious physical damage if done on a healthy dog. Procedures may differ depending on how big your dog is, so check its weight and learn the necessary steps to CPR just to be prepared for any emergency.
Supply it with water
One of the most crucial things you need to watch out for is keeping your dog hydrated and in the shade. The strong sun rays and the unbearable summer heat may cause some health problems to your dog, as well as extreme discomfort and perhaps even put it in danger if it is swimming. Make sure it has access to water and isn’t directly under the light of the sun for too long.
Rinse its fur off after swimming
Pool water has chlorine in it and others chemicals that can be harmful to your pup. Make sure your pup knows where its water bowl is and that it does not drink pool or sea water.
Finally, play with your little one in the water and organize some simple fun games for the both of you to engage in. Your dog is more likely to associate water and pools with happiness if it has good memories of it.
After a pool or beach day with your dog, remember to rinse it with warm water afterward in order to get rid of the chlorine and any other chemicals its skin or fur might have picked up during the day out in the sun.