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Swimming safety for dogs: Roxy takes her first dip in a pool

Here are some key tips you should keep in mind when your dog is swimming.

CLEVELAND — It’s the dog days of summer, and Roxy -- our Wags 4 Warriors puppy-in-training -- is trying to beat the heat.

She loves splashing in streams and creeks, and this week she took another leap by trying her doggy paddling skills in a swimming pool.

Kayla DeLorenzo, Roxy’s handler, first got Roxy to the shallow end steps, which allowed her to get comfortable with the feet firmly planted.

Then they gently supported her underside taking her a few feet out and allowed her to doggy paddle back to the steps. The first time, she was a little confused, but they guided her back to the steps.

Soon, Roxy joined DeLorenzo on an inflatable raft, floating in the sunshine.

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Pool time isn’t for all pups, but if you think yours might be a good candidate, the American Kennel Club has these recommendations:

- Start by showing your dog how to enter and exit. A small children’s pool is an excellent way to introduce your dog to the water.

- Stick to a clean body of water without currents. It should have a gentle slope for easy entry and exit.

- Consider a life jacket to help reluctant swimmers. Acclimate your dog to the jacket in short sessions.

Check out their list of suggestions HERE.

Also, a word of warning about pools and scorching temperatures. To stay cool, dogs have to be hydrated. It’s clean water in a bowl, not swimming in pool water that will accomplish that.

Also, if the concrete is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pup’s as well. Limit pool time, and stick to a nice cool fan or air conditioning for your pup.

DeLorenzo likes to give Roxy and her family dogs ice cubes on hot days as they enjoy a little outdoor time.

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