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Safety tips for water activities with dogs

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Obtain a dog life jacket of appropriate size and construction for your canine companion.

Your dog can benefit from additional buoyancy and flotation in the water when they are outfitted with a life jacket.  It is essential that you select a life jacket for your dog that is proportionate to both its size and its weight.


Water Temperature

Plan dog-friendly aquatic activities around water temperature.  Senior and sick dogs should avoid cold water. Avoid excessive water temperatures and activities.

Before swimming, make sure your dog can swim well.  Some dogs require help swimming. Use a ramp or steps to help your dog enter and exit the water.

Swimming Ability


Watch your dog around water. Accidents can happen rapidly when even strong swimmers weary or get disoriented.  To avoid overexertion, monitor your dog's behavior and energy.


Be mindful of potential aquatic risks such as strong currents, waves, and underwater objects.  Keep your dog away from potentially harmful areas and avoid water activities during high tide or inclement weather.



During aquatic activities, give your dog fresh water. In the sun and heat, dogs can quickly grow thirsty from saltwater and chlorinated water.  Give your dog frequent water breaks using a portable bowl.

Drinking Water

Protect your dog from the sun's harmful rays by applying a pet-safe sunscreen to their exposed skin.  Consider using a shade umbrella or a sun hat to provide extra protection from the sun's heat.


Sun Protection

Teach your dog basic water safety commands, such as "stay" and "come," before introducing them to water activities.  Proper training can help prevent accidents and guarantee that you and your dog have a safe and happy time.


During water activities, give your dog lots of rest intervals. Dogs can easily grow fatigued and overexerted, especially in the sun and heat.  Allow your dog to rest and recharge by taking frequent breaks and providing shade and water.

Rest Breaks

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