If you have a water-loving dog, you know there are few things more inviting than cool water on a warm day. There are risks such as overexertion and toxic algae, so it’s important to take precautions to help keep things fun and safe.
Don’t push a scared or reluctant swimmer — not all dogs are natural swimmers.
Take along: Ear cleaning/drying solution if your pup’s floppy ears are vulnerable to infection, a dog flotation vest, and knowledge of pet first aid.
Water-crazy dogs don’t automatically rest when they’re cold or tired. Watch for signs of fatigue, and get your dog on dry land for regular rest breaks.
Safe fencing to prevent unsupervised swims by pets or kids in pools and ponds.
Watch the waves. They can be deadly to tired or distracted swimmers.
Heed all warnings and advisories about toxic algae. Get help right away if you see signs of illness (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea) as toxic algae poisoning can be fatal in under 24 hours. Check for affected areas at by searching "Algae Bloom Advisories" at oregon.gov.
That rule about swimming right after eating applies to dogs, too. Avoid any heavy physical activity for several hours after a meal.