Are you thinking about making a huge splash this summer? Summer time means cooling off in the pool, at the lake or near the sea shore. While it’s a lot of fun to splash around with your pet, it can also prove dangerous. So before you and your dog dive into the deep end to doggie paddle. Here are a few precautionary swimming pet safety tips:

1. Never leave pets unattended around a pool.

2. Fence your pool with a secure gate, and never leave your dog inside the fenced pool area unsupervised.

3. Make sure pets can get out of the pool. If dogs jumps or fall in and don’t know how to get out without help, they may panic and drown.

4. Just because it’s called the doggie paddle does not mean your dog is an expert. Not all pets are excellent swimmers, so if water is a big part of your family life, introduce pets to water gradually.

5. On boats, make sure pets wear flotation devices (available at most boating stores), and consult your veterinarian if you think your pet needs seasickness medication.

6. Try not to let pets drink pool water. Chlorine and chemicals used to keep pools free of algae and contaminants can cause pet health problems, such as dry mouth or gastric distress.

7. Try not to let pets drink pond, puddle or lake water, a common source of the Giardia parasite. Giardia is not life threatening, but it causes diarrhea and there is a small possibility that it could be passed to other members of the family.

8. Don’t allow pets to wander river and lake shores alone, where they may find and eat dead fish (smelly, but tasty!). If eaten, your pet may develop serious stomach or intestinal upset.

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