Water Safety Tips for Dogs
No matter your dog’s breed, it’s important to introduce him to swimming in a gentle, gradual way. “If you throw them in, they’re going to hate water,” Kern says. “You can try going in the water first yourself and then bringing them in, and having a favorite treat or a favorite toy.”
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, never let him go in the water unsupervised. In addition, any dog with a medical condition, including a back injury, or pulmonary or cardiac problems, should be cleared by a veterinarian before he dives in.
Finally, even if your dog’s breed is known for loving water, every pup is different, so never force your dog to swim if he seems anxious or stressed around the waves. “Defer to the pet,” Fuoco says. “If the animal is not into water, it might not be their thing.”