All About Pet Water Safety
Animals, especially dogs, are drawn to water. Be it a murky ditch, a puddle, or recreational lakes and rivers, many pets love to slurp, splash, and swim whenever water is around. Unfortunately, not all water sources are safe for fun. In fact, many water sources can shelter bacteria and parasites.
Before you head out to enjoy some splash time for your best friend, be on the lookout for the following risks so you can increase your awareness about pet water safety:
Parasites in the Murk
Some of the scariest pet-related water issues in Galveston County are a result of the water-borne parasitic infections, Enterococcus Bacteria and the ‘flesh-eating disease’ Vibrio vulnificus. Both are considered serious threats, are caused by fecal microbiota, and are often found in bracken water. Additional illnesses on the rise include giardia and leptospirosis (which is serious and can lead to liver failure). Scarier still, these are zoonotic illnesses, which means they can spread between animals and people.
Parasites and other bacteria exist in puddles, ditches, and stagnant water. Because of this, it’s imperative to keep pets away from standing water and to prohibit them from ingesting water that is not fresh and clean.
Be Prepared for Deep Waters
Before Spot dons her cute little bathing suit, take a moment to assess if she is ready for the challenge. Not all furry friends are natural swimmers, nor do they all enjoy the water. Most pets must learn the ropes of swimming. Even good swimmers should never be left unattended when in the water. If your pet has never been in the deep end, practice by splashing around in shallow waters and observing her ability and comfort.
Even if your Lab loves to swim out to far waters, you should always outfit your dog with a pet floatation device that is fitted to his or her size.
But it’s not just “wild water” that poses a threat to your furry friend. Each year, thousands of pets are lost to accidental drowning in at-home pools, often because they cannot find their way out. Consider installing fencing around the pool or installing a pool alarm that will sound if something unexpected falls in. You may also want to invest in a pet ramp, too, so that your four-legged friend can always get out of the water.
Additional Pet Water Safety
If you spend a lot of time on the water with your pet, please consult with the veterinarians at Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center to assess whether additional parasite prevention and vaccines are necessary. Likewise, be certain to always supervise your pets around water, both at home and while out and about. Bring fresh water and a bowl for your pets so that they stay hydrated safely.