As a first time, or even an experienced pet owner it's important to remember some basic pet safety in the summer to keep your furry friend safe and cool during the summer. I have teamed up with PetSmart to give some advice to new (and experienced) pet parents for how to have fun this summer, whiling keeping your puppy safe.
I am fairly certain Cora is half fish because I cannot keep her out of the water! When I got Cora I had no clue if she knew how to swim, let alone if she'd ever been around water before. So before you head out for a day at the pool or lake with your pup here are a few tips on how to introduced your puppy to the water and how to keep your puppy safe in the water.
1. Do not force your dog to go in the water. There's a good chance your dog might be scared of the water at first and that's ok, you probably didn't like the first time your parents took you to the lake or pool either. Gradually introduce you puppy to the water. It's a good idea to bring him or her near the water to gage their reaction before bringing them into the water. Cora was initially scared of the lake, so I let her sniff around the lake and work up the courage to get a drink from the lake. I never forced her into the lake, I let her figure it out on her own.
2. Be patient. It may take awhile for your dog to get used to the water. Think of how big the lake or pool looks to your dog, kinda scary right? Let the dog go at their own pace because the last thing you want to do is scare the dog and make them not like the water.
3. Encourage your dog to come in the water. When Cora got comfortable around the lake I would stand out in the lake to just below my knees and encourage Cora to come out to me. It took some coaxing, but she eventually came to me. I stayed where she could touch so she could see the lake wasn't a terrible thing. Once Cora got in the water she started swimming around and hasn't come out since ;)
4. Even though Cora started swimming around on her own I didn't know how good a swimmer she was. I would make her get out and rest so nothing and would happen. Just like humans, dogs need a chance to catch their breath so make sure they have time to get out shake, and chill out for awhile before getting back in.
5. Supervise your dog! This is so, so, SO important! Just like you would supervise your child swimming because you don't want anything to happen to them supervise your dog for the same reason. Teach your dog to only go in the lake or pool when you're outside. Cora knows she can only go in the lake when I'm outside and even when I am out with her she will stand by the lake and look back for me until I say "go ahead." If your dog can't seem to stay out of the water and isn't a great swimmer consider getting him or her a pet life vest, but make sure it fits properly.
6. Make swimming and going in the water fun! Get water safe toys that float to throw for your dog to swim after. Two of Cora's favorite outside toys are the Chuckit! Zipflight and the Chuckit! Tumble Bumper (funny story PetSmart sent Cora those two toys and she has had both toys since we got her). I always recommend buying high quality water toys for your dog because they will last a long time. Cora plays with the Zipflight and Tumble Bumper every day, so they're well worth the money, plus those toys come in two sizes so you can get the best size for your dog.
7. After your pup is done swimming towel them off and clean out their ears. Cora is very prone to ear infections so we always clean her ears out after she is done swimming for the day. Cora likes to go completely underwater (head and all), so our vet recommend we do ear washes on her regularly to keep her ears clean and infection free. Some dog breeds are more prone to infections than others, so talk to your vet to find out the best method of ear care for your pet.
It can be overwhelming to go the lake or pool as a pet owner, but relax and have fun. You want your dog to be relaxed in the water, so you need to be relaxed too, besides swimming isn't supposed to be stressful!
I'd love to see pictures of you and your furry friends enjoying the lake or pool, so post them and feel free to tag me on instagram and use the hashtag #NewPetPartner! Have a great weekend and enjoy the beautiful weather with your furry friend!