What better way to cool off these dog days of summer than with a dip in the pool? On a hot day, your dog may agree that the pool is the best activity for both of you to stay refreshed. Whether you have a pooch who loves to dive right in or one that may be apprehensive about the water, with these four easy tips, you can ensure that man’s best friend will stay cool and safe this summer.
Keep Your Eyes on Your Dog
Although your dog may seem fine in the water, in a matter of seconds something could go wrong and he or she may not be able to bark or alarm you to an emergency. Keep close to your pets and make sure that you are monitoring their activity in the water. Do not let your pet swim alone in the pool.
Take Baby Steps
Even a natural-born swimmer may be a bit hesitant near a pool for the first time. If you want to have your dog in the pool with you then start working with them slowly. Make sure to take them to a shallow area and remember to praise them continuously throughout your interaction in the water. With time, you dog will be hopping right in for some R&R in your pool. Remember, although this is a great exercise for you and your pet, your dog can easily get worn out. Just like with any other exercise, you need to start slow and work up your pet’s endurance in the water. They are using muscles they might not usually use and can easily get tired in the beginning.
Plan an Exit
Using a pool ladder can be a new and intimidating task for your dog. It is not a natural thing for them to use. You will need to take time to practice using the ladder with your pet. This will help them feel more comfortable in the pool and will also allow them to exit more safely.
Rinse and Dry Dog
After exiting from the pool, it is important to rinse off your dog with some fresh water. This will help wash the pool chemicals off your dog and will prevent any skin irritation to your pet. It is also important to dry your dog off, especially their ears. Too much moisture or dampness in your pet’s ears can lead to ear infections. Use a towel or place your hair dryer on the “cool” setting and gently dry your dog’s ears to help prevent any problems down the road.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.