Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine: Does your dog know how to swim?

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Nikki Burdine: Well the temperatures are rising and that means we are going to be spending more time outdoors and possibly by the water, in the lake, or at the pool. 

Dr. Staci Cannon with Metro Animal Care and Control, says we do need to be cautious and careful if we have a four-legged friend who wants to jump in the pool.  

Dr. Cannon:  Definitely, Some of our dogs really love to swim. We are getting close to summer time. People are getting out and about maybe even taking their dogs to the lake or to a friend’s house that has a pool.  

It’s just important to make sure, first that your dog knows how to swim, that they are comfortable, that they know how to get in and out. If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure there is a ladder, ramp and a way for them to get out if they were to take themselves swimming, that they can actually get out safely.

If you are going to the lake for a weekend or for the day, they do make doggie life vests which are a really good idea, especially because if the dog were to get really excited and overheated, that life vest provides a lot of extra buoyancy and a lot of them have a great handle on them too, so you can kind of lift your dog back into the boat.  Sometimes it can be hard to get them back out of the water when they are soaked and drenched in water. 

The other thing that we kind of think about with water safety and our dogs around boats, is making sure the boats are off,  that there is no propeller running if the dog is swimming behind the boat.

But also thinking about this kind of weekend warrior syndrome…just like for people that are really active on the weekends, you tend to get really sore and dogs can be that way too.  If they lay around all week or they have laid around all winter, and now it’s suddenly summer time we’re going to go swimming. They can really overdo it and cause a lot of muscle pain and fatigue.  We certainly don’t want them to get fatigued and be in the water and be at risk of drowning.  

Really, supervising your dog anytime they are swimming is the best bet.  

Nikki:  Thank you Dr.Cannon.  And look at those life vests because I think that would be really adorable to see a dog in a life vest! 

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