Although the weather isn’t exactly showing it, it’s getting to the time of year when it starts warming up and we all spend more time outdoors. For many dog owners, this means longer walks and trips to the beach, and this means only one thing – swimming in the sea!

We all know that dogs love swimming, fetching sticks and splashing about and, for the most part, it goes without a hitch. However, there are dangers just like there are for people so it’s important to know the risks. For the majority of dogs, swimming comes naturally and it only takes a while for them to get to grips with it. For others though, it can be more of a struggle and they will need some support when they go into the water. Here are some useful tips for swimming and your dog:

Training

Certain breeds of dog have a reputation for being able to swim but don’t take this for granted. It’s important to train your dog to swim from a young age. Take them into some shallow water and go in with them, supporting them and helping them round until they seem confident enough to do it on their own. Smaller dogs with short legs may always need some sort of buoyancy, so it’s wise to invest in a dog life jacket.

Common Sense

As with humans, dogs will struggle to swim in certain conditions. If there is a strong wind, there are strong waves or there appears to be a current, stop your dog from going in the water and keep them on the lead if necessary. By keeping them out of the water when necessary, it will keep them safe and ensure they’re not scared in future.

Provide Water

Swimming is an exercise that will quickly wear your dog out and when they’re tired or out of breath, most dogs will look for a drink. However, water in lakes or from the sea isn’t suitable for them to drink but they will if necessary. Therefore provide clean, fresh drinking water for them when they come out.

Rinse Them Off

We don’t like the feel of salt water on our skin and dogs feel the same about their coat or skin. Yes, they can clean it off themselves but help them out by giving them a hose down when you get home. Not only will they feel better, it will keep their skin and coat in a much better condition.