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Care2.com offers up some great pro tips on keeping your dog safe while around water this summer.  Whether talking about the beach or a backyard pool, this is some excellent advice on easy ways to be sure everyone has a good time.

To see the original post on Care2.com written by Emily Cook using information from the ASPCA, click here.

Summer can be a great time for you and your dog.  There are hikes to be walked, cottages to visit, boats to be ridden, and all in what you hope will be beautiful, sunny, weather.  We want to help you get the most out of this season with your best friend, while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

When enjoying those sunny, summer days with your pet, it’s definitely important to keep them cool, and water can be a great way of doing that.  But it’s equally important to know what risks come with water, so here are a few tips to keeping your dogs safe near water.

Water Safety
For starters: not all dogs are good swimmers, so don’t assume your dog will be fine if you push them in, and never leave your dog unsupervised by any body of water.

On a boat
Heat from the sun tends to be more intense around water, so it’s important to watch your dog for signs of sunburn or heat stroke.

Buying your dog a life jacket is important.  Dogs can get cramps, just like we can, or they can get tired when they swim too far from shore.  Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, you can’t control the current, or temperature of the water, and you can’t always know your dog’s stamina.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re taking your dog out with you on a boat, be sure you know you are able to pull them back in if they fall.  It’s good to remember that when pulling a dog out of water, they can be much heavier than when they’re on land.

By a pool or on a beach
Just like how hot sand can make you do a funny dance across a beach, sand can blister your dog’s paws.  Make sure to keep them off of hot sand and pavement as much as possible.

As mentioned, dogs may not all be natural swimmers.  That being said, you can teach them how to swim.  If you’re attempting this, be sure to learn the best way of introducing your dog to water, and definitely use a life jacket in the process!

Games in the water can be lots of fun, but a good tip is to remove your dog’s collar before they go into the water.  This will keep them from snagging or getting it caught on underwater plants or branches.

Similarly, you need to be aware of hazards around your swimming dog.  When they’re having fun, they may not see the boat approaching, or the rocks, or other objects that could harm them.

After they’ve been in the water, be sure to rinse them to make sure any chlorine, bacteria or dirt is taken off of them.

Also try and keep your dog from drinking pool or lake water.  There are chemicals in pools that can cause your pet to have a stomachache, and in lakes there are parasites that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, among other health issues.  Have a source of fresh water close by to keep your dog from dehydration and heat stroke, while encouraging them not to drink the other water around them.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be one step closer to keeping your dog safe and healthy this summer!

To read more about keeping your pet cool this summer on Ontario SPCA’s Blog, click here.   And remember, don’t ever leave your pet in the car.  In the summer heat, cars can quickly read deadly temperatures, even on mild days with the car in the shade and the windows open.

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