Summer’s here, and everyone, including your fur babies, is feeling it. As splashing in the water is one of your dog’s favourite activities to cool off during the warm weather, pet water safety should be a top priority.
Watch Out For These Pet Water Safety Dangers
Dogs and cats are not amphibious, and when left unattended, they are at risk of drowning. Inhaling water or near-drowning also occurs when water gets into your pet’s airway. It causes damage to the lungs and even a collapse of the airways. Pets that are young, old or injured are the most commonly affected. However, there are instances where even healthy pets struggle to swim.
Parasites in Water
When your pet swims in natural water e.g. rivers, ocean etc., they can be exposed to a variety of water parasites such as sea lice and the protozoan parasite, Giardia. It can infect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and can result in diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy.
Chemicals used in the farm fields such as fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides can seep into the lakes, streams, and rivers. When your pet drinks the water while swimming, they can experience vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and skin and coat problems.
Blue-Green Algae Toxicity
Freshwater lakes, ponds and stagnant bodies water are inviting to water-loving dogs. Unfortunately, mould and algae can overgrow. A photosynthetic bacteria called Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae can buildup in “blooms”. It floats and gives the water a pea soup colour mostly during the summer months. Some strains of the bacteria are highly toxic to dogs and can cause liver damage and neurological conditions.
Objects that may cause injury
There may be some objects that are not visible above the surface that may cause harm, lacerations and punctures to your dog. Some examples are broken glass, boards with nails, washed up bottles, and sharp metals.
Pet Water Safety Tips
- Before letting them in the water, check around the area to ensure that it’s safe from dangerous objects
- Avoid bodies of water with an algae bloom
- Fit your pet with a life vest
- Check water temperature and make sure it’s not too hot or cold
- Supervise your dog or cat while they’re in the water
- Dry your pet’s ears after swimming to prevent infections
- Visit your vet immediately if your pet seems sick or showing unusual behaviour after swimming in the water
With the pet water safety information above, you can kickstart the summer fun with your adorable dogs and cats. You can cool off and hit the beach and have absolute peace of mind.
Learn more about taking care of your pets. Read our BLOGS.