Spending some quality time by the water with family and friends is the perfect depiction of summer. Whether it is relaxing by the beach or swimming in a pool, most of our favourite pastime activities revolves around water. Our furry friends should not miss out on all the fun! Understandably, we usually bring them along to join in and enjoy this carefree time of year. However, we would like to provide some helpful tips and tricks to ensure that everyone, in particular our pets, have a fun and safe time.
1. Can your pet swim? You would be surprised by how many pet parents forget to check this one out before taking their pet to some water activities. Some breeds of dog can swim naturally. However, if you have a breed like bulldogs or pugs, it would be best to slowly introduce them to water and be especially careful if they have to swim in deep water as they can find it very difficult. It is also important to be aware of any rip currents in the water as these can be dangerous to your pet. Very lean dogs with low body fat will also struggle to maintain their buoyancy.
2. Check the water: Water can be very deceiving! It is vitally important to be aware of any rip currents as these can be catastrophic for your pet. Heavy rains can cause flooding that will result in underwater snags, debris and branches. As water recedes, swift currents are created. Fresh water may seem the safer option, however it also tends to be a breeding ground for serious diseases such as leptospirosis. Pools are often chemically cared for, so they can become dangerous to pets, especially should they take a liking to drinking the pool water! What is the best resolution? Being equipped with knowledge to avoid dangerous situations, is always the best buffer to prevent ill health, injury and death.
3. Dangerous Wildlife. Just as marine wildlife poses a threat to humans; our curious furry friends are also at risk. It is important to keep an eye on your pet while they are frolicking around or in the water for any signs that have been affected by animals such as jellyfish or eels. Watering holes and rivers are also common habitats for snakes. Keep an eye out for them as well!
4. Treasure Hunt. Some new, exciting smells and goodies will appear on the beach and attract your pet’s attention almost instantly. It would be best to train your pet to obey the command “leave.” If they do have a cheeky snack at the beach, watch your pet for any changes in their behaviour. Keep a keen eye out for any nasty fish-hooks on the beach; they can cause serious damage.
5. Toilet Stops. Regular toilet breaks are very important especially if you are heading out on a boat! The best times to do this would be before boarding and then straight after returning to land.
6. Practice. Especially if you are taking your pet out on a kayak, try practicing what to do if any problems occur. Capsizing is the main problem to prepare for so that your pet does not panic and can adapt to this surprise swim.
7. Life Jackets. This is the safest option for your pet if they will be in the water or on a boat. Especially if your dog tires easily, this a great way to keep them secure.
8. Shade. Sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke are major risks to our pets. Make sure your pet has proper shade at all times. You can buy portable tents for the beach that can also act as a temporary safe place for them to sleep or rest in during the day.
9. Clean Drinking Water. Despite being around a water source, ensure your pet remains hydrated! Salt water and chlorine treated water is dangerous to our furry friends. Therefore, it is important that we have some clean water ready to give to our pet when they are feeling a little thirsty.
10. Bath Time. After some fun times by the water, you should give your pet a bath to remove any dirty or toxic water.
We hope these tips and tricks help you and your pet enjoy a safe and happy time by the water! If anything unfortunate happens, seek veterinary advice immediately. Now is perfect time to relax by the water and (safely) get some vitamin D with all our favourite people and pets!