One of the many things we love about San Antonio is its warm weather. We can enjoy pools and beaches long after our northern friends start bundling up against the chill. Many of our canine patients also enjoy swimming. Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first. Here, a San Antonio, TX vet offers some tips on keeping Fido safe at the pool.
Some dogs are natural swimmers, who need little or no guidance when learning to swim. Others will just sink in water. If your pooch can’t swim, spend some time on doggy swim lessons. Support your pet gently while he’s learning, and offer lots of praise. (Save the treats for when Fido gets out of the water.) Don’t just toss your pup into the pool: even if he figures out the doggy paddle, he may be so scared by the experience that he ends up with a fear of water.
Whenever you bring Fido to a pool, make sure he knows where the exit is. Take some time with this training: it’s very important! If your dog ever falls in accidentally, he could be in serious trouble if he doesn’t know how to get out. You may want to put a visible landmark at the exit, such as a potted tree or a life preserver.
Dogs’ paw pads are very delicate, and they are extra fragile when they’re wet. Your four-legged buddy can get painful burns and blisters by running around on hot surfaces, especially after going swimming. Use paw balm to protect those furry feet, and keep Fido on soft ground as much as you can.
Did you know that dogs can get sunburns? Pups with pale or thin fur are most likely to have this issue. Ask your vet about using sunscreen on your canine friend. When swim time is over, rinse Fido’s fur to get the salt or chlorine out of his fur. Later on, you may want to brush him.
Never, ever leave your dog by the water unattended, even for a moment. In general, use the same precautions as you would with a toddler. It’s also a good idea to fence pools off when they aren’t in use.
Please contact us, your San Antonio, TX vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!