Not all dogs are natural-born swimmers, and even the best ones need training in the beginning. The American Kennel Club offers these tips to help dog owners keep their four-legged companions safe in the water.
▪ Supervision. Always keep a watchful eye on your pup – he may need your help and be unable to bark.
▪ Slow and steady. Take it slowly and enter in shallow water. Praise your dog every step of the way to build up his confidence around water.
▪ Moderation. Swimming is great exercise, but it should be increased in small increments. Your dog is using new muscles and may get tired quickly.
▪ Locate the exits. Teach your dog how to use the pool’s ladder to exit the water. Using a ladder can be scary for your four-legged companion, but it is an important skill.
▪ Rinse off. Wash your dog off with fresh water after he gets out of the pool to rinse away any chemicals.
▪ Don’t forget the ears. Some special attention is required for your dog’s ears. Gently dab your dog’s ears with a dry towel or use a blow dryer on the “cool” setting to get rid of excess moisture. Most ear infections in dogs with floppy ears are caused by water getting trapped in pup’s ear canal.