The people at tails.com have compiled a list to make sure your dog swims safely and a day at the beach doesn’t turn into a tragedy.
Don’t assume that all dogs can swim You might think canines are natural-born swimmers, but that isn’t always the case. Some dogs can’t swim because of the way they’re physically built - they don’t have the ability to swim effectively and this poses a threat of drowning and exhaustion. Much of a dog’s ability to swim will depend on its body shape. Brachycephalic breeds, like boxers, bulldogs and Boston terriers have short airwaves, which increase the risk of inhaling water, making them more prone to drowning. Other factors that can influence a dog's ability to swim include a large, heavy chest, short legs and a short muzzle. If your pooch isn’t one of the strongest swimmers, you’ll need to take extra precautions when heading down to the beach, river or lake.
Don’t let your pup drink the water When our furry friends are thirsty, they will drink almost anything - and this includes sea, river, pool and lake water. Saltwater from the sea, consumed in small quantities, is usually not harmful and may only cause diarrhoea, but drinking larger amounts can disrupt the fluid balance in your dog’s body, and high levels of salt can be fatal for your dog. Lakes, ponds and rivers are often contaminated with organisms that can be extremely harmful to your pet. In mild cases, it can cause diarrhoea, but in severe cases, it can be fatal. It’s essential when swimming to bring a dog bowl and fresh water for your pup to drink.
Keep them safe in the sea Your dog may be a confident swimmer, but big waves and strong tides can be hazardous. Bring along an extended leash so your pup can take a dip in the sea without going too far, and purchase a dog-friendly life jacket to ensure their safety at all times. The sea is full of hidden dangers, from sharp shells and rocks to broken glass and washed-up rubbish. All of these items can be dangerous to your dog’s paw pads. Not only can some of the items be sharp and cut your pup, but they can also be dangerous if eaten. They can cause bacterial infections,
Watch out for blue-green algae Dangerous and sometimes deadly, blue-green algae is often fatal for dogs and can cause long term health problems if consumed. It is most likely to thrive in bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds, during the warmer months of the year - because the weather conditions promote the growth of cyanobacteria. If your dog takes a quick drink from the water, it could lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, or lethargy due to harmful toxins which can stop their liver from functioning properly. So, it's important to be vigilant and don’t allow your dog to take a dip in water where algae may be present.