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A River Runs Through It

On hot, sunny days it’s tempting to let your dog swim in a river, pond, canal or lake. Indeed, for some dogs there is no greater pleasure and some owners love to swim alongside their dog. Our dog, George, loves to swim and paddle.

However, there are a few things to bear in mind to enjoy the water in a responsible way.

Not All Breeds Swim

Some dogs are natural swimmers. Golden Retrievers, Labradors and English setters, for example. On the other hand, breeds such as pugs, corgis, shih-Tzu’s, dachshunds, are not. Clearly a non-swimming dog may drown if you push him into even shallow water. If your dog is a swimmer choose slow-moving rivers or streams.

An Early Bath?

dogs in the swim

Putting your dog in open water is not a substitute for bathing your dog. The water is not suited to the pH balance of the dog’s skin. Also, if your dog has any little nicks on his paws or skin the water can pose a hazard. Seemingly clean water can harbour bacteria and parasites which may give your dog diarrhoea or make him vomit. Some can even be fatal or spread to humans too. Leptospirosis, also called Weil’s disease, is one such danger. Never let a dog who has cuts or open sores into open water.

Take It Easy

While swimming is good exercise for those dogs who are able to swim, puppies or sick dogs should not swim. Their bodies are not up to the exertion. Even healthy dogs can become overexcited and suffer from overexertion in the water. Make sure you stick to the shallows.

What Lies Beneath

Shopping trolleys, rusting metal, reeds. All these may lie beneath the surface of the water and could harm your dog if he gets caught in them. Man-made chemicals that have seeped into the water can also threaten your dog’s health.

Other Creatures

It may sound funny but very large fish such as pike can attack your dog. Water rats can also be savage!

Swallowing Water

A dog who ingests too much water can be in real danger. Swallowing too much water affects sodium levels which, in extreme cases, can lead to brain damage.

Bathe Your Dog at Home

Always wash your dog at home after They’ve had a dip in open water. Ideally, use the shower or the bath as they’ll feel comfortable there and you can control the temperature. Also, bathe with a gentle, safe shampoo like one of our Dog Hair Day varieties. Click here to buy Dog Hair Day.

Tags: dogs, swimming, rivers, dog shampoo, bathing

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.