Show your puppy how to get out of the water
Show your puppy the way out of the water so she doesn’t get lost. If you’re in the ocean or a lake, make sure you help her walk out onto the shore, and if you’re in a pool, show her the steps.
“Show your dog where the steps are, and then take them a foot or two away from the steps and allow them to swim back and exit,” Dr. Wooten said. “Placing a visual marker by the steps may help your dog orient themselves. If your puppy does well, then gradually increase the distance.”
This step is crucial so your pup can get out on her own. According to Dr. Wooten, “Most dog drowning is due to dogs falling in and not knowing how to exit the pool.”
How old should puppies be before they go swimming?
You can start swimming with your puppy when she’s still very young. In fact, it may help her learn that water is fun at a young age (though it’s really up to the individual dog whether she grows up liking the water).
“Puppies with long noses as young as 8 weeks can be introduced to water and swimming in a small, shallow body of water,” Dr. Wooten told The Dodo. “Puppies with smushed faces (brachycephalic) may need to be older. Check with your veterinarian before you take brachycephalic puppies or dogs swimming, and remember — some dogs do not like to swim.”
This is because dogs with smushed faces, like pugs, English bulldogs and French bulldogs, often have more trouble breathing due to the shape of their face and nose, which can make swimming more difficult for them.
Can Puppies Swim in Chlorine Pools?
Chlorine is generally safe for your puppy’s health if the swimming pool has the correct levels.
The safe level of chlorine to swim in is a pH 7.2 to 7.8 and a free chlorine concentration of at least 1ppm.
For hot tubs and spas, it should be a minimum of 3 ppm.
Some dogs can be sensitive to chlorine, especially if they are still a puppy.
The sensitive parts of the body that may be affected by chlorine include their eyes, nose, and ears.
The biggest risk is an ear infection. Dogs with long ears, such as the Basset Hound and Beagle, are more susceptible to it.
Make sure no water is trapped in your dog’s floppy ears by drying them and cleaning them after swimming.
It’s also vital for you to control the amount of time your puppy spends in pool water. Some puppies exhibit signs of irritation due to a longer time in a chlorinated pool.
Puppies can also develop dry, flaky skin from both pool and ocean water.
To keep your puppy safe in a chlorinated pool, be sure to shower them after swimming to rinse off the chemicals.
You also want to stop them from drinking chlorinated pool water.
This can cause an upset stomach including vomiting and diarrhea.
No. Puppies should not swim in lakes. It can lead to drowning, especially for puppies that are only two months old or younger.
Puppies should only start swimming in the tub or a kiddie pool. Once they grow a little older and have more experience with swimming, they can swim in deeper water.
But lakes are a big no-no, even for adult dogs.
Here are other reasons why your puppy should not swim in lakes.
Blue-green algae isn’t an algae, but strains of cyanobacteria in algae that can be toxic to our dogs.
These are more common during summer due to higher temperatures and scarce rain.
You’ll know a lake is infested with algae if the water has scum parches on the surface that look like motor oil.
Signs of blue-green algae poisoning in puppies include the following:
Don’t confuse blue-green algae with red tides. Red tides are certain types of algae that give the water a red color.
The toxins in red tide often spread through the air which can be extremely dangerous.
Lakes have unpredictable water temperatures. Take note that, the colder the water, the more exhausted your puppy gets when swimming.
If your dog can handle the depth of the lake and you can guarantee that the waters are free from blue-green algae, make sure to control their lake activity.
Always keep a close eye on your dog and be ready to help them out when they need it.
Rip currents can form by the coasts of large lakes, so watch out for your puppy at all times.
These are dangerous water currents that can carry you and your puppy away, resulting in drowning and death.
Dogs who get caught in rip currents can survive, but puppies have a lower chance of swimming against it despite their innate knowledge.
Aside from swimming in the lake, some lake activities can also be harmful to your puppy.
For instance, if you’re fishing while they are swimming, the hook on your fishing rod could end up in their nose or mouth. Or they could get tangled in the line.
Keep sinkers away from your puppy because they can lead to lead toxicity if your pup swallows them.
Remember to prevent your puppy from playing with or ingesting salmon because they contain a type of bacteria and worm that can cause salmon poisoning disease.
Signs of this disease include:
Be extra careful with puppies when they are swimming. Here are some safety tips to consider.