The sunshine, warmer temps, and all of Michigan’s great lakes create the perfect recipe for summer.

While it’s fun to include our pups in all adventures, it’s important to make sure they’re safe in and around the water. 

The first thing to consider is if your pet likes the water at all. Some dogs want to swim but don’t know how – other dogs don’t want to at all. While bigger dog breeds tend to know how to swim instinctually, some slammer breeds struggle and may panic in the water. If your dog does want to swim but you don’t think they know how, it’s always smart to invest in a lifejacket so that they can have fun but still be safe.

Smaller dogs with short fur can become colder quicker than dogs with longer fur, and it’s important to monitor them in the water to make sure that they aren’t freezing. If your pup is old and has joint issues, watch them carefully, as even if they know how to swim, their legs may tire out quicker than a younger dog’s would. 

Before letting your dog into the water, check your surroundings carefully. While humans are able to pinpoint dangers in the water suck as sharp rocks, sticks, fishing polls, etc., dogs aren’t, and may injure themselves if they have free reign. If you notice other dogs around, proceed with caution, as you never know how they’ll act around each other, and if they’re both in deep bodies of water, somebody could get hurt. 

If your dog is going to be hanging out at the pool with you, make sure there is plenty of fresh water available for it to drink. Dogs with thicker fur get hotter much quicker than humans, and dehydration is very possible. If a dog is hot, it may try to drink the pool water, which is full of harmful chemicals and may give your pup a stomach ache. 

After swimming in a lake or body of water, rinse your pet off and check their skin for any pests or lake/ocean residue that may have gotten stuck to them/their fur. If you have time, shampoo their coat so that their skin doesn’t get irritated from any dirt, salt, etc. from the water. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.