29. June 2020

Into the cool, wet blue

In high season, many dogs think that the BEST treat in the world is getting to take a refreshing dip. However, swimming is not merely a refreshing treat, it's also remarkable muscle exercise. And thus, we hereby offer a couple of pointers when it comes to swim & fun with your four-legged BF: 

Remember: You're the boss

There are similar rules for two-legged creatures: When temperatures rise, dogs aren't allowed to jump directly into cold water, and it's strictly forbidden to swim on an empty stomach. Further, you shouldn't underestimate the power of the sun, reflecting in the water. Make sure to protect you dog, if it has only little or no fur with a special type of dog sunscreen. The duration of the dip should be based on how well the dog swims, how old it is, and how fit it is. Even a healthy and young super swimmer should always take a break in the shallow after spending 20 minutes in the water. For older dogs, swimming is a gentle way to build muscle mass. However, be cautious not to overdo it. Easy walking in hip-high water is solid muscle training for a senior dog. 

The right equipment

Taking a swim isn't just good training; it's also an excellent opportunity for two- and four-legged BFs to get some fine quality time together. It's a load of fun for your dog the aport floating toys - or for the trained dog: To collect dummies under water. It's recommended to get a swim vest for your dog. Firstly, because dogs in water give it their very all - especially if you use toys, dogs are not the BEST at estimating their own strengths and limitations. Secondly, a vest can help improve your dog's way of swimming. Many dogs have a tendency to swim with a very straight neck, which may cause a strain on their spine. A swim vest can help prevent that. Just be aware that the vest should have a good fit, and since your dog will use its tail to make way, the vest should not cover the lower part of its back. 

Bear in mind: When dogs swim in the ocean, extra rules apply

Avoid that your dog drinks too much salt water. It can cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Always make sure to bring plenty of drinking water to the beach. Avoid skin irritation by cleansing the dog in clean water after swimming. 

Playing on the beach

And also remember that playing on the beach can be a bit tricky, as the sand can act as sandpaper when in contact with damp dog paws. Check its paws regularly and cleanse them thoroughly after a visit to the beach. In addition, its ears should be taken care of after a swim: Gently, but thoroughly dry the ears with a suction cloth. Especially dogs with longer ears can experience ear inflammation in the humid climate.

NOTE! Public beaches have strict rules during high season when it comes to dogs. Therefore, check your local area rules and regulations before letting your dog dip in the cool, wet blue.

Cooling off at home

If you don't have the opportunity to take your dog to the ocean, you can still provide it with great and fun ways of cooling off: 

Garden hose - many dogs love to run under a garden hose. It offers both coolling and loads of fun. Important: The beam shouldn't be too strong, and your dog should enjoy it and volunteer on its own. 

Cooling off mat - consists on a gel material that can be activated by pressure or water; in that way, the cooling effect commences. Advantage: Your dog can decide completely on its own if - or how long- it wishes to lie on the mat. 

Dog pool - a little luxury: A small pool will allow your dog to dip itself or dive for toys. Since dogs can also be cooled down via its paws, just dipping its feet can have a very refreshing effect. The water shouldn't be too cold, though.  

Strolls and walks - avoid the heat during midday and take long walks early in the morning or late in the evening. Don't underestimate how hot asphalt can actually be; it can be very painful for your dog. 

And last, but certainly not least: Should your four-legged BF be in need of medical attention, you can always contact NICK THE VET in Bendinat. He and his briliiant staff at the clinic will take loving and competent care of your dog and make sure to assist with any potential problems. 

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