Water Danger #1 – Drowning
Yes, most dogs instinctively know how to swim. But like humans, they can jump in and forget their limitations, especially if they have health issues. They can get overly tired, swim out too far into the deep end after a long day of playing ball and literally not have the energy to swim back. Could be a pool, or worse yet, a lake or ocean. As with children, always keep an eye on your dog whenever you’re around water.
Water Danger #2 – Water Intoxication
Dogs can ingest too much water after repeatedly diving into a pool, river, lake or ocean. They start off having so much fun cooling off and frolicking underneath the water but sometimes literally drink in massive amounts of water. Water intoxication is serious and can even cause death. Get your dog to the vet immediately if you notice staggering and vomiting. They can even ingest too much water after playing for long periods of time in a lawn sprinkler! So again, as with a child, watch out for them.
Water Danger #3 – Water Contamination
Bacteria, algae, parasites and chemicals of various sorts are always present in some amount in lakes, oceans and even swimming pools. If your dog has a compromised immune system from a recent illness or disease, it could be especially dangerous. Dogs inhale as well as ingest the whatever is in the water. Swallowing even a minute amount of blue-green algae, for example, can kill a dog. If the lake looks greenish blue or red, keep your furry loved one out of the water. Parasites in the water can cause intestinal problems too – some minor, others major.
Water Danger #4 – Ocean Critters like Jellyfish
Like humans, jellyfish stings hurt dogs too! Without even swimming out into the ocean, your dog can step on a washed-up jellyfish while strolling along the beach with you. It’s always a good idea to take a first aid kit along to the beach that can be used for both humans and pets. Things to include: rubber gloves (so your fingers aren’t stung when pulling off the jellyfish stingers), rubbing alcohol to pour on the tentacles, and baking soda to make a paste and place on the wound.
Bottom Line – Be Aware and Prepared
Just as you would for a toddler, be aware of the water – it’s quality and how your dog is feeling. Panting too much? Break time! Signs of water intoxication or sickness, find the nearest vet.