This time of year can be hot and humid. You may be asking yourself “Where can I take my dog swimming” that is safe? Swimming is an excellent choice for staying cool and getting a little exercise for both dogs and humans. 

Dogs can enjoy water time with us, but there are a few things to be aware of to keep them safe. The team at Union Lake Pet Services is here to give you tips on where you can take your dog swimming safely to make a splash with your Fido.

Where Can My Dog Swim?

There are several options where you can swim with your friend, but each has safety matters to consider. 

Backyard pool – If you have the luxury of jumping into the pool in your very own backyard, that’s a wonderful place to bring your pup. It is contained and private, and the two of you can swim together. One of the key things to consider in a pool is to teach your dog how to get out. Dogs cannot hoist themselves over the side, so they must be trained where the stairs are in the pool. We recommend a dog ramp, which attaches to the pool for an easy exit, should they fall in accidentally.

Public and Commercial Pools – Some local pools open their gates to dogs in late summer. The dogs have the pools all to themselves. Here’s the 2019 list. We’re not sure whether these will happen in 2020 so check with each location. Here is Yelp’s list of the best dog swimming places in the Detroit area–a mix of venues.

Kiddie pool – Many puppies, small dogs, and geriatric dogs enjoy water time in a kiddie or doggie pool. This is also a good option for those who want to wet down their dog to keep them cool while they play outside. If your dog is learning how to swim, get them used to water by giving them their very own kiddie pool. Just remember that dogs can drown in even shallow water, so supervise your pet (at least loosely) while they splash around.

Lake and beachfront – Dogs love our Michigan beaches and lakes but these areas are best for intermediate dog swimmers. Ensure that your pet has the swimming skills for the challenge. Never let your dog swim out into the deeper areas unless they have a life preserver and are with you. Avoid times when the weather is windy or about to rain, or the water is very choppy. Avoid places where there are algae or surface scum, as these can be potentially toxic to your pet.

Rivers – Unless it is a slow, shallow river, more of a creek, or is in a calmer area, rivers should generally be avoided. The rapids are dangerous for pets and people. If you want to swim in a river, look for swimming holes and calmer bends of water, where you and your pet can enjoy a cannonball or two. But even shallow water that is running strong can overtake your pet. 

Ponds and standing water – Ponds may seem like a good option for pets, since they are relatively small and don’t have the rapids of a river. Unfortunately, many ponds are contaminated by cattle and other livestock, run-off, algae, and dangerous parasites. Opt for a shallow stream instead, to give your pet a break from the sun and heat.

Take My Dog Swimming: Tips to Remember

Here are important reminders before venturing into the deep end with your bestie.

  1. Provide plenty of fresh water for your pet and discourage them from drinking from the pool, lake, or other natural water sources.
  2. Ensure your pet knows basic commands, and will reliability come to you when called.
  3. Use a well-fitting life preserver for your dog, no matter how comfortable they are in the water. This is especially true when you are in the lake, river, or other places where they can drift into deeper water.
  4. Offer lots of shade and rest breaks.
  5. Always supervise your pet around water.

Would you like more information about taking your dog swimming safely? We are here for all of your pet-related questions and needs. Simply give us a call!