Beaches, lakes, rivers and pools are all popular places to relax in the summer, and it may seem like a no-brainer to bring your dog along to cool off.
However, there are a few key safety precautions to keep in mind before you dive into the fun.
Santa Barbara Humane offers advice and resources that will keep you and your dog safe and happy during your aquatic adventures.
— Remember that not all dogs can swim, and not all dogs that can swim enjoy doing so. Let your dog lead when it comes to getting into the water; you don’t want to force them into it.
— Keep an eye on them as they swim. Even dogs that love swimming may get worn out by paddling around for too long.
— If you are going out on a boat with your dog, you may want to invest in a life jacket for them. Make sure it is fitted properly. A loose or unstrapped life jacket won’t help if your dog is struggling.
— Don’t let your dog drink lake, river, pool or ocean water. While the fresh water from a lake or river may seem fine, there may be high bacteria counts or algae blooms that you cannot see. It’s best to bring along fresh water that your dog can drink.
— Watch for riptides and high waves at the beach. Even when the waters look calm, there may be a riptide that could pull your dog out deeper.
Remember that swimming can be strenuous, especially on hot days. Give your dog breaks in the shade so they can relax and recharge.
— Wash your dog after their swim. Chlorine and salt can irritate your dog’s skin, so rinse them off after their swim.