Dear Floofy Column – June 2015
I love being on the water in the summertime. Is it true that all dogs know how to swim? Is it safe to take my pooch out on the water?
Dog paddling in the pool
Dear Dog Paddling,
I hear you loud and clear! Every time Floofy crosses a river, drives past a creek, or sees a photo of the ocean, her heart races. It’s time.
While a large number of dogs that Floofy knows can’t wait to take a dip, some aren’t so enthused. If you’ve never taken your dog out before, you might want to test the waters, so to speak, with some trial runs in smaller locations.
For example, try the kiddie pool. You know, the plastic ones that some dogs use as giant drinking dishes? Are they laying in it with joy seeping from their eyes? Might be a good sign!
Or, why not take your pooch to a doggie pool? Yes, they are in the Chicagoland area and many offer swimming lessons. It’s a great way to see how your pooch responds to a larger water body. It is also a great way for older or injured dogs to get exercise in a less joint-stressed environment.
If you plan to boat with your best friend, consider making short attempts before going out on a three hour tour. Remember, non-motorized boats can be easily tipped over if an excited dog decides to chase a duck swimming past. And, motorized boats with loud engines can spook even the most mellow of dogs. My prior floofin would cringe and hide under a seat when the motor revved, but was up at the front of the boat perched like Kate Winslet in Titanic when we were afloat. Whichever way you get around, be aware of your dog’s reaction and location.
And always, always keep your pooch vested up. Just like people, dogs should be properly outfitted for safety. Life vests can be purchased for your dog at any major sporting goods location like Cabelas or L.L. Bean. If your dog exhausts himself the vest can be a lifesaver!
Whether your dog prefers the water or the couch, Floofy wishes you much fun and safety during the summer boating season. Hope to see you floating by!