1. Know if your dog can swim: Not all dogs are strong swimmers, and not all dogs can swim, so before you vacation near any body of water, you need to understand their abilities. Regardless, it’s always important to ensure your dog is wearing a life jacket like Outward Hound’s Fun Fish Life Vest, especially if you are on a boat or at the ocean where there can be strong currents. Make it as easy as you can for them to swim.
2. Keep your dog hydrated: You should also always carry fresh drinking water with you, as well as a portable, collapsible bowl. Don’t let your pet drink too much at once. Gulping water may cause your dog to bloat. Instead, pace it out. Your dog needs water more often than you do, especially dogs that are prone to overheating like French Bulldogs and boxers. A rule of thumb is to over-hydrate yourself and give your dog water every time you drink. For dogs who aren’t motivated to drink, you can add chicken stock or water from a can of tuna fish. You can also make hydration fun for your pet with a water based toy.
3. Don’t let your dog eat before or soon after swimming: Just like humans, it’s not a good idea for doggies to eat an hour before they swim, and it’s not a good idea for them to eat too soon after swimming. Dogs love to eat fast which can lead to bloat, a danger to dogs whether or not they are going for a swim. Keep dogs safe by feeding them at least two hours before swimming, or one hour after swimming and use a slow-feeder bowl to slow down their rate of consumption.
You should not force a dog to swim or throw them out into the water. I acclimated my dog pictured above by throwing a rock just a couple feet off shore, (he loves to chase rocks), and then a little further out each time until the water was deep enough he would have to swim. I did this once or twice a week for 3 or 4 weeks until he readily took to swimming, not only to retrieve, but he would swim around in laps just for the enjoyment! The water had very little current, but if taking your dog to a river your dog will be much safer wearing a life jacket.
Water Safety + Outdoor Adventure Product Pick Suggestions:
Perfect for pool parties, trips to the beach or on the boat, the adjustable straps ensure the perfect pup fit while the dual grab handles make it easy to pull your dog out of the water in an emergency.
Fun Fish Life Vest, $29.99
These walking harnesses easily hold all of your essentials (treats, toys, keys and phone) while a secret pick-up bag dispenser keeps you stocked up for walks, hikes and trips to the park.
Pal Pak Harness, $19.99
Designed for maximum functionality and safety, the new jacket offers pup parents key benefits of buoyancy, comfort and ease-of-use.
Neoprene Life Jacket, $39.99
Featuring detachable saddlebag compartments, a lightweight vest with durable grip handle and bright, high visibility colors, this pack will keep your pup safely equipped for every new adventure!
Quick Release Backpack, $39.99
The collapsible Port A Bowl tucks easily into a backpack, pocket, or purse and provides an easy way to give your dog food and water while on the go.
Port-A- Bowl, $5.99