Taking Fido Swimming

Summer is coming up quickly! Swimming is a very popular pastime for both people and pups. In fact, many of our canine patients love the water. Just be sure to put your furry buddy’s safety first. Read on as a local Ellicott City, MD vet offers some advice on taking Fido to the pool.

Swim Lessons

Some dogs are natural swimmers, who need little or no instruction. Others? Not so much. Some pooches will actually just sink in the water, while others are frightened of it. If Fido doesn’t know how to swim, it’s worth your while to teach him. Don’t just toss him into the water, though. That’s not only very dangerous, it could also terrify your pup. Support your four-legged friend as he is learning, and encourage him with praise and compliments. Save the treats for later! 

Paw Care

Just like human skin, dogs’ paw pads get quite delicate when wet. Running or playing on a harsh or hot surface, like a driveway or pool deck, could cause your pooch to get painful burns, blisters, and abrasions. Use paw balm on your pet’s furry feet, and try to keep him on soft ground as much as possible.


Pools can be very dangerous for dogs. Always put safety first! First and foremost, never leave your canine buddy unattended near water, even for just a few moments. If you have your own pool, keep it fenced or gated when it isn’t in use. It’s also very important to make sure that your pup understands where the pool steps are. Otherwise, Fido could be in serious trouble if he falls in when no one is looking! Last but not least, if you have an above-ground pool, get some doggy steps.


Dogs get thirsty very quickly in summer, and they aren’t particularly picky about what they drink. Don’t let your furry friend drink pool water! Chlorine and bleach really aren’t things you want your four-legged friend ingesting. Make sure that Fido always has fresh, clean water available.


After your pooch has finished swimming, rinse him off to the chlorine and bleach out of his coat. You may want to brush Fido as well, especially if he has long fur. Afterwards, it may be time for some doggy ice cream!

Please feel free to contact us, your Ellicott City, MD vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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