As the heat comes, many dogs – and some cats – will enjoy swimming to cool off. While a dive in a pond may seem harmless, there are many hidden aquatic hazards that your pet might encounter. We tell you about some of the aquatic hazards for dogs and how to detect if your pet has been affected.
There are several organisms present, particularly in stagnant or swampy water, that can cause harm to your pet or even yourself. Most waterborne diseases cause diarrhea, which in itself is treatable, but needs more research, since different parasitic infestations require quite a different treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no single approach for everyone. If your pet swims in stagnant water (a pond or lake), there is a risk of a parasite becoming infected, many of which are transmitted by ingestion or skin contact. Some of these infections are zoonotic, which means they can also be transmitted to humans.
In general, these diseases do not endanger life as long as they are detected and treated in a timely manner. But in young or immunocompromised pets, they can be much more serious. This is especially true in the case of leptospirosis, which can spread to the liver.
Unless you prevent your pet from swimming completely, it is difficult to avoid getting one of these diseases. However, the ideal is to avoid calm waters and favor slow-moving rivers or streams, since infections are less likely to persist in flowing water.
Also, try to make sure you always have water on hand for your pet to drink, so you don’t feel the need to drink from the stagnant pools. Practice good basic hygiene and, if your pet shows symptoms, seek the advice of a veterinarian, and remember to indicate that your pet has been swimming.
It may seem a bit dramatic to suggest that your pet might be threatened by fish, but you would be surprised at the reality of this statement. The risk can be very large and could be a trance for small dogs or puppies. There have also been cases of river rats that attack dogs. Stay vigilant
Water hazards: strong currents
While rivers, streams, and seas have the advantage of being clearer for parasites, running water can be deceptive and fast. A look at the surface of the water could indicate that the current is smoother than it really is. Be sure to prevent your pet from swimming in rivers that are very crowded, for example, after heavy rains, and keep it away from the sea if there are current hangover alerts.
Aquatic hazards: unusual objects
The old comedy routine of fishermen who take boots from the water has some basis in fact. Nature groups often warn about the increasing levels of garbage and debris that accumulate in our waterways, with various objects that reach the water.
Cans, bottles, stones, and other sharp objects could cut your pet while swimming, and rods or ropes could get entangled. To avoid this, keep out of muddy, dark, or contaminated water. If cut, seek veterinary attention since the wound is more likely to become infected if they have been in water that is not very clean.
Water hazards: c anxiety
If your dog is too old, too young, or easily tired, it is important to control his swimming to make sure he is not getting out of his depth. While many dogs will approach an activity with enthusiasm, it could prove fatal if they swim farther than they are able to swim back.
Don’t let your dog swim too far from the shore and watch to make sure he isn’t too tired to avoid water hazards. Swimming is an excellent physical activity that can help your pet stay cool and perform a slightly different form of exercise. Meanwhile, be cautious and sensible: you and your pet should have fun and stay safe in the water.