Tag Archives: summertime
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Sunbathing is Happiness

2 May

Bailey has made sunbathing her morning ritual. She is going to love Summer.

sunbathing

Summertime: Water Safety Tips

17 Aug

Summertime is here – and so is the heat! There’s no better way to enjoy the sun than to cool off swimming. And, if you have a Labrador, they might be the first in the water!

Enjoying a beautiful summer day wouldn’t be the same without your K-9 companion, but you might be surprised how quickly things can go wrong.

Labradors are natural born swimmers – but, they may need some coaching before they’re comfortable with large bodies of water. We recently took Bailey to grandma’s house for her first swim in an adult pool and realized that her swimming instincts were a little shaky.

Whether you’re headed to the lake, beach or backyard pool – here are 10 water safety tips to consider so that everyone has a good time:

  1. Baby steps: Even though Labradors might love the water, if they’re like Bailey, they might be unsure in new situations. A good first step is to slowly introduce them to water. Maybe start with a baby pool, or just be patient while they explore their new environment. If you’re taking them on a boat, you should let them get familiar with the boat and turn on the engine before getting on the water.
  2. In and out: Several trainers don’t recommend throwing your dog in the water to learn how to swim. Bailey’s Uncle (also a Lab owner) made sure we showed her how to get in and out of the water. With all the excitement, this took awhile before she caught on – but with any puppy, practice makes perfect.
  3. Bring friends and family: If your dog is hesitant to get into the water, they might be more willing to follow others. You’re bound to get wet anyway, so play along or bring another dog to lead the way. Just be careful of those paddling webs – they don’t stop when you get in the way.
  4. Make it fun: Labradors are retrievers and instinctually want to fetch in the water. They might not dive in the water at first (Bailey was too scared), but they will be driven to swim and play fetch. Bring a ball or other toys and have fun. 
  5. Use caution: if it’s not safe for kids, it’s not safe for dogs. Pay attention to warning signs that indicate unsafe water and areas. If conditions in the ocean, rivers or lakes are too dangerous for kids, it’s probably unsafe for dogs too. Dogs can also slip from running around wet pool areas just like kids. Always supervise your pets and use good judgment. Here are more helpful tips on pet water safety.
  6. Use a doggie vest or k-9 float coat: Even though Labradors are good swimmers, they are big and heavy dogs. They too can use a little help if you’re planning a long day in the water, or you’re on a boat. Consider using a doggie vest so they don’t get too exhausted – and swallow too much water trying to stay afloat.
  7. Dog proof your boat or pool area: A day out with the family = exploring. Whether its the new environment, an exciting day or lack of 100% attention – your furry baby will find something to get into! The last thing you want to ruin your day is a backyard remodel or chewed seat on your boat, so think about creating a safe place for Fido or keep them on a leash. For more information on dog proofing your boat, click here.
  8. Provide shade and water: A long day in the sun can be tiring and dehydrating – even when you’re swimming. Make sure there is a shaded area for your dog to cool his paws and drink fresh water.
  9. After sun and splash grooming: You never know how your dog’s skin will react to chemicals, algae or other goodies in the water, so it’s important to rinse them off after a swim. Labradors are also highly prone to ear infections – so remember to clean their ears to evaporate any access water.
  10. Take your time: You want your dog’s first experience in water to be positive, so take your time. Bailey’s first attempt at swimming wasn’t exactly how we’d imagined. But eventually, she’ll get more familiar with water and become the Splash Dog we know she’s born to be!

For more helpful information about Dogs and Water safety click here.

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