a group of dogs sitting next to each other.
20% Off
New Dog
Boarding Clients!
Valid 01/01/24 thru 02/28/24
Logo of fon jon pet care featuring a brown cartoon dog with a green tennis ball and text highlighting 70 years of pet care services in san diego.
dog swimming in summer

Swimming Safety Tips for Your Dog

Allowing your four-legged friend to enjoy a refreshing swim on a hot summer day can be a great way to help him keep cool while getting in some exercise time. Of course, safety should always be top priority whenever your pets are involved, so put these swimming safety tips to good use before letting the fun begin.

Do Not Presume That All Dogs Are Excellent Swimmers

dog wearing life jacket to swim
Dogs will naturally start paddling when they find themselves in water, but that doesn’t mean that they can stay afloat for any length of time.

While many dog breeds such as Labrador retrievers and poodles were literally bred for the water, there are other breeds such as pugs and bulldogs whose anatomy makes swimming difficult and even dangerous. If your dog has very short legs, a large chest with small hindquarters, or a very short muzzle, chances are good that he will struggle in the water. A life jacket designed for dogs is a good idea if your pup isn’t built for the water.

Both puppies and elderly dogs can tire quite easily, so keep an extra close eye on them. A first-time swimmer may need some encouragement from you until he gains some confidence and gets the hang of swimming. Keep your hand underneath his belly at first to encourage him to use all four legs, and stay in the water with him in case he panics.

Give Dogs a Drink Before the Swim

Pools usually contain chlorine, so drinking this water should not be allowed. Natural bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, and oceans can all be teeming with harmful germs and bacteria. Make sure your dog is well hydrated before a swim so that he won’t be tempted to sample the water.

Watch Out For Hidden Dangers

dog getting out of lake
No matter where your dog does their swimming, be sure to clean and dry their ears afterwards.

Natural bodies of fresh water can be home to things like venomous snakes, snapping turtles and alligators. Know what is commonly found in your area before attempting a swim session. Jellyfish are commonly found in the ocean and can deliver painful stings. Things like riptides, broken glass, and sharp shells also can pose a hazard.

Diseases like giardia and leptospirosis are sometimes lurking in bodies of water and can cause serious illness. Talk with your vet about vaccine options available for your pets before letting them swim.

Lakes, ponds, and swamps sometimes are home to blue-green algae, which are actually not algae at all but rather a toxic form of bacteria. Contaminated water will often have warning signs posted. Take them seriously, as blue-green algae can be fatal.

Provide a Way Out

If you are making use of a backyard pool, take the time to teach your furry friend how to exit the pool, just in case he ever takes a dip when you are not around. If there are no stairs in the pool, provide a ramp of some sort so that no animal ever becomes trapped in the pool.

Clean Up After

It is a good idea to thoroughly bathe your pet after a swim to remove any harmful bacteria that might be clinging to the fur. Be sure to always use a pet-safe shampoo and to pay close attention to those ears. A dog’s ears are particularly prone to infection because of the warm, moist environment inside. There are ear cleaning solutions available at most pet supply stores, or you can use apple cider vinegar and a gauze pad.

Let the Fun Begin

With some preventative measures, your canine companion can enjoy going for a swim while getting some great exercise too!

Fon Jon Pet Care has been serving the San Diego area for more than 30 years. We can help you with your dog training, daycare, and boarding. Call us today at 858-280-3657

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute veterinary advice. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, it should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary guidance. Always consult a qualified veterinarian for specific advice tailored to your pet’s individual needs and health condition.

a group of dogs sitting next to each other.

20% Off
for New
Boarding Clients!
*not applicable during major holidays

a blue rectangle with a blue background.

Petcare articles

view all articles
Two volunteers in matching t-shirts smile as they play with a pug in front of a house.
April 5, 2024

Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelters in San Diego

Handling emergencies involving pets can be challenging. One way to help keep your pets safe during a natural disaster such as flooding or fires we recommend is having a list of pet friendly shelters in your pet’s emergency go bag…

dog being rescued by an old man
April 5, 2024

Tips for Finding a Lost Pet After a Natural Disaster

Finding a misplaced pet after a natural disaster might seem like a daunting task. However, there are effective strategies and resources that can increase the chances of a happy reunion. Our goal is to provide you with practical tips that…

A dog laying on a towel with a first aid kit.
March 6, 2024

Preparing for Disasters: Tips & Dog Emergency Kits

It is our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our pets during times of crisis or natural catastrophe. Many of us consider our beloved pets more than just animals; they are loved ones who complete our families and…

female owner carrying her orange cat
March 6, 2024

What is Positive Reinforcement Cat Training

Some folks claim that training a cat is impossible. They are completely mistaken. Cats are true experts when it comes to training; in fact, they have the whole concept nailed. Just consider how they’ve conditioned YOU to satisfy their every…

dog yoga with owner
February 2, 2024

Indoor Exercises for Dogs When the Weather is Bad

Guide on Indoor Exercises No matter how bad the weather gets, your beloved pet still needs their daily dose of play and exercise. It is our belief at Fon Jon Pet Care that your dog needs regular indoor exercise and…

A jack russell terrier sitting on a doormat with the word "home" written on it, looking directly at the camera.
February 2, 2024

Tips on How to Help with Separation Anxiety in Puppies

Puppy separation anxiety is a typical problem that many pet owners encounter. When a puppy is afraid of being alone, it may exhibit this behavioral problem. If you care about your pet’s health, you must learn about this issue and…

dalmation dog with happy new year headband
January 4, 2024

Dog Owner New Year Resolutions 2024: How to Make Your Dog Happy

With the arrival of the new year comes an ideal opportunity for dog owners to make resolutions that prioritize the happiness and health of their beloved pets. Both you and your dog will benefit from an uptick in the quality…

sick dog with ice pack on top of his head
January 4, 2024

Sick Dog Symptoms: Learn What to Watch For

If you are a dedicated dog owner, you have a responsibility to keep an eye on your pet’s vital signs. Being able to identify the signs of a sick dog goes beyond simply treating them when they’re sick; it also…

happy dog with santa hat carried by female owner
December 1, 2023

A Guide to Soothing Your High Anxiety Dog During Holiday Gatherings

Everyone looks forward to the Christmas season because it is a time to rejoice, celebrate, and spend time with those they care about. On the other hand, the holidays can cause stress and anxiety for our canine companions. Many animals,…

Woman holding a poinsettia plant with a decorated christmas tree in the background.
December 1, 2023

Deck the Halls with Caution: Toxic Holiday Plants for Your Pets

Many people bring seasonal plants into their homes as the holiday season rolls around to help get everyone in the spirit. Unfortunately, not all festive plants are harmless to our pets, and it’s not always easy to tell which ones…

Person filling out a pet insurance form at a wooden desk, with documents and a pen in hand.
November 1, 2023

What to Know Before Getting Pet Insurance for Your Dog

Dog owners can rest easy knowing that any medical emergencies or accidents that may occur during their pet’s lifespan are covered by pet insurance. The pet insurance industry, like the human insurance market, is flooded with options, making it difficult…

dog Groomer trimming hair of a small dog
November 1, 2023

Tips for Selecting a Dog Groomer

The health of your dog depends on more than simply good food and veterinary checkups. Trimming the fur, clipping the nails, and cleaning the ears are all part of grooming your dog. Professional dog groomers provide a variety of services…

Have a

Get a response within 24 hours

Valid 01/01/24 thru 02/28/24

Don’t Miss Out on our New Specials!

20% OFF

new dog boarding clients

A small brown and white dog sitting on a white background.

50% OFF

new cat boarding clients

A tabby cat waving its paw in the air.

20% OFF

new dog daycare on first package purchased

Two dogs sitting next to each other on a white background.

50% Off For New Cat Boarding Clients!

Request Your Boarding Dates

20% Off For New Dog Boarding Clients!

Request Your Boarding Dates