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WAGSTA Wellness

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Swim Safety Tips

Ready to get wet? Before taking to the beach or your local pool, please take a minute to read the following swim safety tips:

WAGSTA Swim Safety Tips

  1. Always ensure an easy entry and exit point for your dog. Remember it’s easy for an overweight dog to enter the water by a steep bank but it can be extremely difficult for them to exit this way!
  2. Ensure your dog can swim! (Some breeds cannot e.g. heavy chested dogs such as Great Danes and short nosed breeds such as Bulldogs). Start off in shallow water before going deep. Consider a doggy swim vest. These are great for brachycephalic breeds and for those who are less buoyant in the water.
  3. Beware of currents. Do not allow your dog to swim in a current. As well as the risk of being swept away, swimming against a current can soon lead to exhaustion and the risk of drowning.
  4. Beware of submerged obstacles e.g. weed and branches that may entangle your dog.
  5. If swimming in salt water, remember to provide plenty of fresh drinking water. Discourage your dog from lapping up salt water.
  6. If co-swimming with your dog, never swim out of your depth. It is very easy for a large dog to push you under. Do not allow dogs and children to swim together. Beware of scratches from your dog’s paws.
  7. Avoid your dog swimming in brackish or stagnant water as this can lead to tummy upsets, eye and skin irritations.
  8. Avoid swimming in water containing algae. Some forms of algae such as blue-green algae can be fatal to dogs if consumed.
  9. Remove your dog’s lead to prevent their legs becoming tangled.
  10. Avoid swimming outdoors in cold climates. Do not risk doggy hypothermia.
  11. Always monitor your dog. Do not allow them to become exhausted. Call it a day as soon as they start to tire.
  12. Beware of multiple dogs swimming together- potentially swimming on top of each other and causing fatigue.
  13. Check in with locals when visiting a new area. Is the area safe for swimming? Potential local risks include currents and rips, crocodiles, alligators, bull sharks, jelly fish, toad fish and poisonous algae.

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