Schertz Animal Hospital’s Blog
Where You Shouldn’t Take Your Dog Swimming (and Safe Alternatives)
What could be better than a water-loving dog? Never short on enthusiasm, these pups will take to the water anytime, anyplace. Sprinklers, creeks, pools, and puddles are among their favorite spots to scamper and splash, but just because water makes them happy doesn’t mean it’s always safe. There could be hidden dangers floating on or around their preferred watering hole.
Taking your dog swimming or wading can still be a wonderful activity, as long as you keep some key safety strategies in mind.
Can That Taste Good?
Water-borne illnesses are major threats to a wading or swimming dog. Shallow or stagnant water are perfect incubators for these and can be passed from one animal to another.
- Read the signs around bodies of water. No fishing or swimming signs mean that the water isn’t safe for your dog.
- Don’t allow your dog to drink from a pond that has a funky or fishy smell.
- Never stop near water sources by treatment facilities.
- Always provide fresh, clean water when out and about with your dog. Train them to only drink water from their bowl.
Risks in the Water
Dog owners aware of what can be in certain bodies of water are more likely to persuade their dogs to move on. The following common water-borne diseases include:
- Leptospirosis – Distributed by mammals, this illness occurs after exposure to infected urine or water. Antibiotics are necessary to clear symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and inappetance – but kidney and liver damage necessitate hospitalization and supportive care. Vaccination can help minimize severity.
- Giardiasis – Caused by protozoa, this illness results in diarrhea. Dewormers and antibiotics increase the chance of a good prognosis.
- Cyanobacteria – Also known as blue-green algae, the pea soup-looking bloom can be fatal even if a few small gulps are swallowed. Dangerous symptoms require immediate veterinary treatment.
- Pythiosis – While quite rare, this illness from a fungus can cause skin lesions, bloody stools, and weight loss.
- Protothecosis – Caused by a type of algae, skin infections, diarrhea, and central nervous system signs are side effects. Anti-fungal treatment is required.
Take Your Dog Swimming
There are some excellent alternatives regarding where to take your dog swimming. Pools that have chlorinated water are safe enough, although some dogs may be sensitive to the common chemical. Be sure they aren’t drinking the water, and do your best to minimize chlorinated water getting into their eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Always rinse your dog off thoroughly.
- Be sure there are proper exits
- Outfit them with their own personal flotation device
- Never take your eyes off them in the water
- Brush up on pet CPR
The beach is another wonderful place to take your dog swimming, just be sure to keep a close eye on the weather, current, riptide, and hydration. Overexposure to the sun can be very dangerous.
A river, stream, or lake can also be lovely, but due to high volume of fishing, hooks, bait, and other debris can endanger your dog.
While you can decide whether to take your dog swimming, they’ll still find odd places to lap up a drink. Try to dump out any water accumulated in the backyard, and just to err on the side of safety, inhibit their curiosity while out together by always providing fresh water in their own bowl.
Awesome, caring, sympathetic and pets are Number One! — D.O
I LOVE Dr. Mossberg. He and the staff are Amazing and SOOO CARING! They are the BEST — M. Lerma
Dr. Mossburg is WONDERFUL! He is so patient! Answers all my questions. I don't feel rushed. He is just so awesome with our Sophie! — S. Cobarruvias
This is the only place I trust with my girl. They always take great care of my Yorkie. — A Byrd
We can't say enough about Schertz Animal Hospital. Dr. Rodriguez and the whole staff are wonderful and so caring. — P. Ring
This is a wonderful animal hospital. Will highly recommend them for anyone who loves and cares about their pets. — B. Lewis
Have taken our pets there for years. Dr. R. Is the best. We appreciate him and the rest of his hard working staff. — C. Yeary
These are our first pets and first ever Vet visit. We are very pleased with the attention, knowledge, and quality of care. Very pleased with our decision!. — J. Tibbetts
We love the care the staff provides, they are big enough to provide services without having to wait long for an appointment, but still make you feel like family. Love this place. — T. Ha
Took my cat in today on an emergency basis and they were so helpful and kind. They have done what they can for him. I have a dog too and this is the only place I will be taking her to. Best vet we have ever been too. — L. Hamilton
Exceptional customer service and great care of my Sammy! Dr. Rodriguez "Dr. R" is the BEST! — A. Garcia
We absolutely love Schertz Animal Hospital for our puppy! They are so caring and take good care of our Bella. — P. Willard
The entire staff is friendly to me and my Bradley. I feel that my Bradley is in good hands. — A. Cano
Love Schertz Animal Hospital. The staff are all friendly and helpful. Dr. Mossburg is thorough and caring. We have taken 3 of our rescues there. Most recently our 7 year old Rottweiler we rescued. They have always taken excellent care of them. — A. Peterson
Schertz Animal Hospital really cares about your pet. They know their stuff. They been in Schertz for many years. All the doctors really know how to relate to us as they are pet owners too. I highly recommend them for all your Veterinary needs. You won't be sorry. SAH thank you for taking such great care of my Service Dog. — K. Duchess
Schertz Animal Hospital is a group of some of the most selfless people. They have been so attentive and caring to my pups, literally dropping everything to care for their needs. I am blessed and ever so grateful to have this team a part of my little family's life. Alley and Noah looooove you all! Y'all are the bomb dot com! Keep on keepin' on ladies and gents! — A.H
Dr. Mossberg and his assistant, Terri, are outstanding! Rusty can be difficult and they are so patient and kind. My husband and I really appreciate that they go the extra mile! Thank you!!! — T. & M. Taylor
I am totally satisfied with the practices, procedures, and service currently in place and have no recommendation for improvement. — R. Schutte
The front staff are awesome and have great attitudes. Very friendly and approachable. — R. & D. Carter
This is the one place that I feel completely safe with taking my Jasmine too. All of you take good care of her. Thank you. — C. & J. Smith
I appreciate being able to walk in (I did call first) with no appt. The doctor was booked but he still took care of my pet. Kudos to Dr. Rodriguez!! — S. & C. Mag
You are doing everything super good!!! Keep it up!!!! — W. Williams
I have never had a vet office that treats its patients so well, and throughly explains all diagnosis and possible treatment. I have always bragged on this office and will continue to do so. — M. & N. Heller
Always professional, clean atmosphere. — J. Wilson
Love how Dr Rodriguez has a passion for what he does - it makes a huge difference! The staff is friendly and caring - thank you. — Anonymous
Very nice facility that is well kept up. Whenever one of my pets needs medical care,I know I can rely on Schertz Animal Hospital to provide excellent care. — D. & R. Lanier
Dr. Rodriguez and his staff are always pleasant, caring and I feel very confident in the care given to all of our pets! :) — M. & J. Hild