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When I was a kid, we used to take our two dogs for walks in the woods on warm summer evenings. One of our favorite stopping-off points was a bend in the creek where the water streamed slowly by and the dogs loved to plunge in to fetch sticks and have a bit of a paddle. Going by the happy expressions on their faces when they emerged dripping and refreshed and spraying us with drops of water as they shook themselves, it was the highlight of their whole day.


Summer Safety Tips by Ann Brightman 42 Broward County, Florida

pet’s safety and comfort. While many dogs take to the water like ducks, especially retrievers, spaniels and similar breeds, others are a bit timid at first and may need some help getting used to this new experience. These 10 tips will ensure that you and your best friend can splash out in worry-free fun, whether you’re wading in a stream, going boating or visiting the beach or a lake cottage.


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Before starting any new activity with your dog, it’s a smart idea to first make sure he’s in good health. If you’re in any doubt as to his fitness, have him checked

by a vet.

If it will be Rover’s introduction to the water, start slowly and be patient, especially if he’s still a pup. Don’t assume he’ll automatically know how to swim.

Choose a warm day and a shallow body of water, with a gently sloping beach or bank that’s easy for the dog to navi- gate. Let him approach the water’s edge and investigate it in his own time. Never splash him or force him to enter the water before he’s ready.

Once caution has turned to curiosity, try enticing him into the water by entering it yourself and calling him— perhaps attracting him with a treat or by tossing a toy a short distance into the water (not so deep that his paws can’t reach the bottom). Gradually, he should feel more confident, especially if he sees you having fun, and will venture further into the water.

Take your time while introducing your dog to boating. Keep in mind that he’s used to surfaces that are station- ary and stable, so it might take him a little while to get used to a tilting and moving craft. Let him get acquainted with the boat while it’s still tied up, whether it’s a canoe, kayak or yacht. Keep his first boat trips short and watch him for any signs of motion sickness.

Even if a dog is a seasoned swimmer, it’s a good idea to equip him with a canine life jacket or personal flotation device while you’re out on a boat. Accidents can

haring water activities with your canine companion is a wonderful bonding experience, as long as you keep in mind that, as with children, you must consider a

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