Monday, August 31, 2009

Water Safety: Would you risk your dog’s life when playing in water?

The most pleasurable way of spending time with your dog, whether you own a Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel or a Portuguese water dog is to indulge in some kind of marine activities which is one of the best ways to bond together. Spending quality time with your canine friend by playing along the rolling waves of the ocean or letting him fetch a stick in the shallow creek is a fabulous way to enjoy the great outdoors.

The most important rule is to ensure that you and your dog are completely safe when paddling in water. Though there are many breeds of dogs that can easily plunge into the water similar to a duck, some canines are naturally apprehensive to take the lead at first and they need some time to get used to the new experience.

Mentioned below are a few safety precautions and guidelines which will ensure that both you and your dog have a great time together in water:

1. Ensuring that your dog is fit and in the best of health condition is a prerequisite before you allow him to jump into water. Do not hesitate to consult with the veterinarian if you have any doubts about his fitness levels.

2. When advancing towards the water with your dog for the first time it is beneficial to go at a slow pace rather than rushing to get there. This holds good and is extremely important if he is still a puppy. Never assume that, he will be able to naturally swim swiftly and tread the waters safely just because he belongs to the Labrador Retriever breed.

3. The best way to get your novice dog acquainted with water is to pick a warm, shallow body of water and allow him to maneuver through it at his pace. Place him at the edge of the water and allow him to explore at his own comfort levels. Unless and until you are sure that he is ready do not splash him or drag him to the water. Let him have a few moments to familiarize with this new experience. Compelling your dog to get into the water before he is accustomed to it will scare him off and he may never again attempt to try to do so.

4. Once he starts getting curious and a little comfortable, try taking him into the water by going in first and calling him at the same time. Lure him with his favorite treat or throw his possessive toy into the water by making sure it is thrown at a short distance and also within his depth. When he begins to realize that you are having fun with him he will be more confident about going further out.

5. Ensure that you gear up your dog with a canine life jacket before you take him to a large body of water, such as the ocean or a deep river. This is imperative and particularly needed if he is new to swimming or tends to get excited when playing in water. Before venturing to go deeper into the water, ensure that the canine life jacket fits your dog properly and that he is comfortable wearing it while swimming.

Content provided by Jerry Stewart of, where you can find a fantastic assortment of clothes for dogs online.

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