A lot of large dogs, like retrievers, are very happy in the water. Lake, pool, puddle, rain - they're there. Here are some tips to keep your dog especially happy and cool this summer.
Scope out dog-friendly destinations with water
San Diego has a dog-friendly beach near Mission Beach. It's a big stretch of sand and water where dogs are free to roam off-leash. Seattle has a lake where dogs are welcome to jump in and splash around. Even in Arizona, there's a dog park with an artificial lake for desert dogs to cool off.
Add extra fun with a floating fetch toy like a Kong Safe Stix. It's an extra excuse for your dog to run and jump in the water and a great way to encourage your dog to get his energy out.
Invest in training for you and your dog
Not all dogs are born water babies. Specialized trainers offer doggie swim lessons. Just like with human babies, it keeps them safe in case they end up in the water. It can also teach dogs to love the water so your dog is able to join you in more adventures. For you, take a canine first aid class. First aid and CPR are different for dogs than it is for humans, so it's worth having the knowledge in case of an emergency.
If your dog is a natural in the water, check out dock-diving. It's a dog sport that's like a cross between a long jump and the high dive. Many areas have competitions, so it's a great way to exercise and socialize your dog.
Take your dog boating
If you enjoy it, your dog may enjoy accompanying you. Protect his paws from debris and hot docks with water shoes for dogs. He can wear them in and out of the water, and his nails won't scratch your boat. A large dog life jacket is worth having on board too. It's bright color keeps him visible in the water and its handle lets you easily pull him back on board if he needs help.
Swim a few laps with a senior dog
Swimming is a great way to gently strengthen muscles, which support aging joints. If your dog has joint issues, invite him into the pool with you for a swim. Use a dog toy to entice him in if necessary.
Host a puppy pool party
Does your dog have other doggie friends who love water? Invite a few over, throw some toys in the pool, and set out some biscuits for the dogs and drinks for pup parents. Make sure to have plenty of dog towels on hand before they run in the house!
Turn on a sprinkler
Some dogs love chasing the stream of water. Let your dog have some fun while you laugh at him chomping down on water droplets like a ferocious hunter.
For dogs who love water, there are endless options for entertaining them in the summer. What are some your dog enjoys? Leave a comment on our Facebook page with your dog's favorite water games.
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