Friday, July 31, 2015

Fit Dog Friday: Swimming Safety

Today's Fit Dog post is brought to you by Seth who tried to drown today!

The weather has been dreadfully hot lately. I have started swimming the dogs [the boys particularly] when it's super hot out because my dogs [especially Seppel] need an outlet for their energy. When it is really hot out it is hard to give them adequate exercise and is even really too hot to do any training outside.

We go to the same park and there are two places we can go to swim. One part of the park has large river access and they are swimming in fairly deep water, another part I think is actually a creek and not the river and it is far more shallow with swimming access only in the middle.

Seth has had several close calls. The first time he tried to freak me out, he grabbed a large tree in the water and was trying to pull it up to bring it to shore.  The second close call was more recently. He tried to grab who balls in the water [long story about that haha] and he ended up vertical and was struggling to right himself. The big scare came today when he got water in his ear. He was in the middle of the river in the deepest part and was trying to shake the water out of his ear, he went under water 2-3 times and finally righted himself and came back to shore. I almost had a heart attack!

The thing is, I own a dog life jacket. I bought one for Seppel when I was rehabbing him from his FHO surgery. I don't know why I didn't really think about it when I started letting the dogs swim. I guess I thought they were pretty good at it and that nothing would happen. Today was very eye opening for me, a few things crossed my mind. The first thing was, if I had to jump in after him - could I find him? I don't know for sure how deep the river is, but it is pretty dark water and even though I knew the area he was in I really wonder how easily I could find him to drag him out. The second thing I was thinking of was that I am not a great swimmer, I can swim but I am nothing special. What if I drowned in the process of trying to save my dog?

With that in mind, I stopped at petsmart on the way home tonight and bought Seth his own life jacket! Both boys have one now and they will wear them when they go swimming. I think it's better safe than sorry. Seth is a fairly strong swimmer, but he obviously gets a little distracted and isn't super concerned for his well being. Seppel is cautious to begin with and not nearly as good of a swimmer as Seth is, so it's good for him to wear one as well.

I have yet to take LiLo out to see if she is interested in swimming. I will definitely purchase a life jacket for her as well if she really gets into it or put one of theirs on her.

I don't frown upon people who do not make their dogs wear life jackets to swim. I never would have really considered it if I didn't have what I felt were a few close calls with my own dogs. I would just be so heart broken if something happened to one of them.

Here are a few pictures from tonight. I like Seppel's life jacket better than Seth's, I think the design is better. However Seth's is less bulky.


  1. Oh wow! Poor guy! That must have been really scary!

    I've been thinking about getting the girls life jackets.

    1. Yeah for sure! I don't think they are necessarily "necessary" but good to have if you are swimming them in fairly deep water? Or potentially go somewhere with a current? Like I don't think a person is a bad dog owner for not using them. But it freaked me out!

      I mean, I've taken Seth swimming in the past and never had a problem. But it really made me realize all I need is to have something happen one time and it could cost me my dog.

  2. The life jacket sounds like a good idea for your pup. We swim in ponds or lakes, but never have had any trouble. We don't swim out far and don't play fetch, just swim around for fun. Glad everything turned out alright.

  3. Oh wow! So glad it just a close call, and in the end a good thing since it made you even more vigilant about their safety. The life jackets sound like a great choice.

  4. Pretty scary - I would be using life jackets too. Our guys don't swim too much - really only Maggie does and she comes right back when I call her.