Water Safety Tips for Dogs in Coastal Virginia

Coastal Virginia is surrounded by waterways, inlets, rivers, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Chesapeake Bay. It seems that no matter which city you find yourself in, you are near water! I absolutely love that about living in this area. If you have dogs and live in Coastal Virginia, it’s important to know how to keep your dog safe around the water.

Here are a few tips to make sure you have a safe summer with your dog in Coastal Virginia!

1. Get a Life Jacket

If you plan on having your dog out on a boat or near the water, please invest in a doggie life jacket. Certain dogs absolutely love to swim but can still run into issues just like humans do. They can develop leg cramps, get swept up by a riptide, or just become physically exhausted.

2. Don’t Force Your Dog to Swim!

As much as I love swimming in the ocean, my Chihuahua Chuy hates it! He doesn’t even like standing by the shore line as the waves come in. Some dogs are natural born swimmers and others just aren’t that into it.  Research your dog’s breed to see if they are innate swimmers. Never force a dog to swim as it can be a traumatic experience for them.

3. Don’t Drink the Water!

Try and prevent your dog from drinking any water that they swim in. Pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can cause a bellyache. Water from other bodies of water can contain parasites. If you plan on taking your dog swimming, please make sure that their Giardia Vaccine is up to date to prevent infections. Giardia is a one-celled protozoal parasite that dogs most often ingest through drinking contaminated water. 

4. Supervise Your Dog!

Never leave a dog in any body of water including pools, unsupervised.

5. Rinse Your Dog After Swimming

Always rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt, as well as bacteria or dirt. Also, be sure to remove wet collars and allow them to fully dry.

I hope you find these tips helpful when swimming with your dog this summer in Coastal Virginia. Have a tip that isn’t listed here? Leave it in the comments below!

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