Swimming With Fido

Swimming With Fido

Summer is here, and we’re in for some scorching weather over the next month or two. We suspect quite a few of you will head for pools and lakes to cool off on those sweltering days. Of course, many dogs also enjoy going for a swim. Pools can be dangerous for Fido, however, so you’ll want to take some precautions to keep your furry friend safe. A Teller County, CO vet discusses taking your dog swimming in this article.

Vet’s Approval

Not all dogs take to the water like furry ducks. Some pooches, such as very small dogs and brachycephalic dogs, just aren’t cut out for swimming. If you aren’t sure whether swimming is right for your canine buddy, consult your vet. If the answer is no, get Fido a kiddie pool to splash around in instead.


If your dog can’t swim, spend some time teaching him. Put a lifejacket on Fido at first, and support him gently as he’s learning. Reward him with praise and ear scritches as he progresses. Never throw your furry buddy into the water: he could be traumatized by the experience, and may end up terrified of water.


When taking Fido to a pool, immediately show him where the stairs are. That way, he’ll be able to get out if he falls in accidentally. Make sure the knowledge really sinks in. You may also want to mark the pool exit with a visible landmark, like a potted tree.


Make sure your canine companion always has fresh water nearby. Try not to let Fido drink from the pool!


Follow the same general pool safety precautions with Fido as you would for a toddler. First and foremost, never leave your dog unattended near water. Senior dogs, blind dogs, and pooches with mobility issues are especially at risk. If you take Fido to a lake or river, put a doggy lifejacket on him. Also, be careful with pool coverings. Dogs sometimes try to walk on them, not realizing that they aren’t solid surfaces. Last but not least, keep pools fenced off when not in use.


After swim time is over, rinse your canine pal off to get the chlorine out of his fur. You may want to brush him later, when he’s dry.

As your Teller County, CO vet clinic, we are dedicated to offering excellent care. Contact us anytime!

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