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Can Dogs Drown? Understanding Water Safety for Pets

As the Ontario weather warms up, many pet owners look forward to enjoying the great outdoors with their furry companions, including swimming and playing near bodies of water.


While dogs are often depicted as natural swimmers, the reality is that not all dogs are adept in the water, and even the best swimmers can find themselves in dangerous situations. Understanding water safety for pets is crucial to ensure that these fun outings remain safe and enjoyable.


Don't worry - we can help. Read on to learn the answers to 'can dogs drown?' and so much more.



Can Dogs Drown? Understanding Water Safety for Pets


Can Dogs Drown?

Yes, dogs can drown, just like humans and other animals. Dogs can become tired while swimming, leading to difficulties staying afloat.


Unfamiliar or stressful situations can cause dogs to panic, making it harder for them to swim effectively.


A sudden injury or an existing medical condition can impair a dog's ability to swim.  Rough currents, waves, or strong undertows can overwhelm even strong swimmers. 


Difficulty getting out of the water, such as high pool sides or steep embankments, can trap dogs in the water. That's particularly tricky for aging dogs. Make sure you research pool safety for dogs.


Dog Water Safety

Ensuring the safety of your dog around water is crucial to preventing accidents and drowning. That way, you won't have to struggle through a pet emergency.



Always supervise your dog when they are near or in water. Whether it's a pool, lake, river, or the ocean, keeping a watchful eye on your pet can prevent many potential hazards. Just like with small children, constant supervision is necessary as dogs can quickly get into trouble, especially in unfamiliar environments.


Teaching your dog basic swimming skills and how to exit the water safely is important. Spend time training your dog in calm, shallow water to build their confidence and swimming ability.


Familiarize your dog with various water environments and exits, such as pool steps or ramps, to ensure they know how to get out of the water safely.


After Swimming Tips

Taking care of your dog after swimming is just as important as ensuring their safety in the water.

Post-swim routines can help prevent health issues and keep your pet comfortable.


After your dog has been swimming, it's important to rinse them thoroughly with fresh water. This helps to remove chlorine from pools, salt from the ocean, or any algae and bacteria from lakes and rivers. Residual chemicals and contaminants can irritate your dog's skin and coat, so a good rinse is essential to keep them clean and healthy.


Regular grooming helps maintain your dog's skin and coat health after swimming. Brushing your dog removes loose fur, tangles, and any debris caught in their coat.


For any puppies with sensitive skin, consider using a moisturizing conditioner or a soothing rinse recommended by your veterinarian to prevent dryness and irritation.


Can Dogs Drown? Now You Know

Can dogs drown? Yes, but not if you're careful. If you use our tips for managing pets in water, you'll be able to keep your furry friend safe.


Do you need more help taking care of your pets? Glenridge Animal Hospital is here for you. We've been specializing in helping dogs like yours around St. Catharines for years.


Contact us today.

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