Our emergency services are now available 24 hours on WEEKENDS.  Overnights will be limited to Friday/Saturday/Sunday at this time. We will update you when further expansion of hours is anticipated.

Keeping Your Dogs Safe In And Around Water


Many people think that dogs were born to swim, but they honestly don’t know how to swim. Instead, they instinctively tread water (doggy paddle) when they fall in, which is different from knowing how to swim. Once you understand this, you’ll see why it’s so important for you to take the time to properly introduce your dog to the water.

How to Introduce Your dog to the Water

Before you introduce your dog to the water you must first make sure that they have good, solid obedience training. This is important because if your dog is going to disobey you on land, they’ll disobey you when around a body of water. When this happens it’s even more dangerous than if you weren’t around a pool, lake, or an ocean. Once you have the obedience training down, you’ll be ready to introduce your dog to the water. There are a few things you’ll want to remember when doing so, including:

  • You should never simply throw your dog into any body of water.
  • You should never leave your dog unattended around any body of water. If you own a pool in the back of your home, make sure that you place a fence around it so your dog won’t have access when you’re not around. It’s also important that you show him how to get in and out of the pool correctly – by using the pool’s steps. This is something that you should practice with him until you’re sure that he understands where to exit the pool if he does accidentally fall in sometime.
  • Remember how tired you get when you go swimming. Dogs feel the same way. This is important to remember because once your dog is tired, he’s more susceptible of becoming a victim of drowning. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you have your dog get out of the water occasionally so he can get some rest.
  • Buy your dog a life vest so he’ll have some help swimming in case he grows too tired to do it himself.
  • Make sure you take a dog CPR class so that if an accident does occur around the water, you’re prepared to take proper pet health steps.

How to Protect Your dog From Drowning

Besides keeping your dog away from the water when he’s unattended and buying him a doggy life vest, make sure that you also know your dog well before you go by the water. There are some dogs who are simply better suited for the water. These are the breeds that have a short snout. On the other hand, dogs like the pug, Boston Terrier, and English bulldog aren’t equipped to go swimming so you should leave them on the shore.

A few Other Tips for pet Health Around Water

Now that you and your dog are prepared to have some water fun, here are a few additional pet health tips to remember:

  • Never let your dog drink water from lakes or rivers because there’s parasites and algae in them.
  • Don’t let your dog drink swimming pool water because it contains chlorine.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t drink ocean water as it has too much salt in it.
  • Always rinse your dog off after swimming and dry off their ears too so they don’t get infected.

If you have any questions about this or anything else to do with pet health, make sure you contact Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center.

Contact Us

Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center


1501A Belcher Road South Largo, FL 33771

Clinic Hours

Specialty Hours Monday 8:30a - 5:00p Tuesday 8:30a - 5:00p Wednesday 8:30a - 5:00p Thursday 8:30a - 5:00p Friday 8:30a - 5:00p Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Emergency Care Center (ECC) Monday 10a-10p Tuesday 10a-10p Wednesday 10a-10p Thursday 10a-10p Friday, Saturday, Sunday 24 Hours