My new article in the Summer 2016 issue of Fido Friendly Magazine was just released. You can see an enlargement of the page from the magazine or read the full text below.

Q: I am blessed to have an eager-to-please dog who loves water play. You name it – the beach, pool and even backyard sprinklers. What are some ways to keep him safe and avoid him becoming too fatigued when swimming or fetching balls in the water?

Labs and portuguese water dogs love to fetch and will happily swim or dog paddle! Bulldogs and Pugs (short-snout) are not the best swimmers. Avoid throwing a dog in the water to teach them to swim; you may risk trauma and fear of water.

Don a doggie life jacket and teach your dog to “come” and “retrieve” a safe floating toy on dry terrain first. Next, sit in a kid-size pool with just a few inches of water. Deliver a tasty treat to reinforce fun!

Pool safety requires a clear exit strategy: place a blue or yellow flag or cone as a fixed object by stairs or ramps and teach your dog how to exit the water.

Pooches that beach-dive for tennis balls or swim in the pool for long periods can become fatigued, so take regular time-outs. Pups that lap up pool water, salt water or ingest too much playing with the hose may become victims of water intoxication (although rare, it can be fatal). Then there’s the risk of drinking pond water. Dogs can contract Giardia, an intestinal infection from a microscopic parasite found in standing water.

If your dog-tired pup is swimming or drifting towards danger, tossing a floating toy in the opposite direction can potentially save your dog’s life.

Start and stop water games: take five and rest in the shade with a small amount of fresh water.

I recommend every owner learn pet First Aid & CPR and watch for signs of heat stroke: excessive panting, disorientation, weakness, foaming at the mouth, vomiting, rapid heart rate, red tongue, pale gums-move your dog to a cool area and contact your emergency Vet.

When summer heats up apply doggie sunscreen and sunglasses and remember, just like kids, whenever canines are unsupervised around water, always use a cover or pool alarm, enclosed gate and training!