Man’s best friend… They have been there with us throughout war, they are with us in our homes, they help to raise our families, they keep us healthier, and they have stood by the human race for centuries. Likewise, we do the same for dogs. It seems dogs and humans are inseparable at this point. Nobody ever likes to see a dog in distress and most of us dog lovers would jump at any opportunity to save a dog’s life like this. What is so amazing in this video is how coolheaded, calm, and collected this fisherman was during this rescue. While I also would have had great intentions, I’m sure the boat would have flipped over or I would have done something where we would have both ended up in the water. This guy was just a pro and made all the right decisions. It is so nice to see that this dog received the help that he needed and that he is reunited with his owner. What a heartwarming video to watch.
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How Far Can A Dog Swim?
The answer to this question is obviously highly dependent on the different type of dog breed. Some dogs, such as the Labrador retriever, are fantastic swimmers and can actually swim better than most humans. As seen in the below image, dogs such as the Labrador retriever are almost built like boats and they do very well in the water. On the other hand, there are breeds which have a very difficult time swimming and the risk of drowning is substantially higher. These types of breeds include dogs such as the pug or bulldog.
How To Keep Your Dog Safe While Swimming
The first tip here is to simply know your dog. If you have never gone swimming with your dog before, try sticking to a shallow and safe location without much of a current. A small pond, stream, lake, or even a swimming pool would work very well for this purpose. As you begin to understand how your dog is able to handle the water you can move into difference and more unique situations.
More and more dog owners are beginning to also use flotation devices and life vests specifically made for dogs. While most dogs who naturally swim well will not require a life vest, breeds who do not swim well or have difficulty breathing on dry land (most short nosed dogs) should definitely use one of these relatively cheap but life saving devices. Your dog may not like wearing a life vest at first but after a while your dog will get used to it and will have no problems wearing the vest at all.
Dogs should always be monitored while they are swimming. There is never a time where you should leave your dog unattended in any type of water, even if it is very shallow water and you are only leaving for a minute. Unfortunately, that is all that it takes. You should be especially careful and water with faster moving currents such as the ocean, streams, rivers, and even lakes that have currents under the surface that you might not be able to see. Dogs can be swept away in these currents very easily which can bring them much further from land than they intended. All of the same safety measures he would take with a child who is swimming should be taken when a dog is swimming.
Oh, and don’t forget to train your dog in basic obedience before going to a public lake!
What To Do If You Lose Your Dog While Swimming
Losing your dog in a large body of water can obviously be a very frightening experience. If you do see your dog away from shore and it appears your dog is in distress, it is usually a bad idea to swim after your dog. For starters, dogs can swim for a decent period of time and when they are caught in situations such as being too far from shore, they generally do not panic and are only focused on resolving the immediate issue at hand. Swimming out to your dog may just complicate the situation. Dogs are very good at seeking out land and figuring out how to get to safety. The most important thing that you can do is make sure that you are not losing sight of your dog. You should immediately either call for help or find some sort of a boat or flotation device before trying to go rescue your dog alone. Every year there are dog owners who are killed after swimming to try and save their dog who drifted too far from shore. Whenever you try to save a dog who may be in distress while in the water, make sure you are making calculated decisions and not putting your own life at risk. If your own life is put at risk, all rescue efforts will be turned to you and will take any rescue efforts away from your dog.
Don’t Be Scared To Let Your Dog Swim!
While there are certainly some risks to allowing your dog to swim, it is not something that you should be too afraid to allow your dog to do. Most of dogs know how to swim and instinctively and they want to do it. In addition, this is a phenomenal source of exercise for just about any dog. As long as he takes on basic safety precautions there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to put on some flip-flops and bring your dog down to the beach with the family to enjoy the water.