Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds

Updated 12/08/2021 by Ava Jaine

This summer, take your Dachshund swimming!  It’s a great way to keep your dog nice and cool from the heat.  Many doxies enjoy a relaxing swim, a fun boat ride, or just a quick splash in the creek.

But Wait!  Before you dive in, you need to know the Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds.

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Before my husband and I had kids, we had three fur babies: Reno (mini dachshund), Bastian (beagle-dachshund mix), and Artemus (German Shepherd).  We lived in the country, so our dogs had plenty of space to run and play.

We enjoyed walking the pups down our little dirt road to a small creek several times a week.  The dogs loved it!  Artemus would wade in the water nice and easy to cool down and relax.

My Dachshund, Reno, would circle the creek barking orders at Artemus and eventually jump in with a big splash.  Bastian enjoyed sniffing around the water, he preferred playing on dry land.

We have many fond memories just letting the dogs splash and cool off on those hot summer days. It was like taking them to their own personal water park.

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds

Help your dog love the water!  Here are some key tips on how to keep your Dachshund safe in or around the water.

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds
 

Some Dogs Can’t Swim

Never assume that your dog can swim naturally when placed in the water.  Some dogs can’t swim or float well at all.

Some dog breeds, including: bulldogs, maltese, shih zu, and our Dachshund pals may only be doing the doggy paddle for survival instead of enjoyment.

Our doxies have short and stubby legs and a large chest, which can make it more difficult for them to float and paddle on their own for very long.

Be Patient

Never force your Dachshund to swim.  Some dogs may need a more gradual introduction to the water.   Allowing them to watch you enjoy the water may coax them in on their own.

If you force a scared dog into the water, it will create a bad experience.  If they just don’t want to swim,  you can help them enjoy a cool shady spot instead and try again another time.  Different dogs have different comfort levels.

Watch Closely

Some doxies have no fear and will jump right in the water by themselves (like my dog, Reno).  Always keep a close eye on your doxie near any body of water.

If your Dachshund takes a quick dip, stay close and don’t look away.  A dog can sink very quickly, so always watch closely to prevent an accident.

Note: Even the best canine swimmers can still have an accident.

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds
 

Hang On

Keep a leash on your dog when walking near the shore or swimming in the water. You can use a floating dog leash  (from Amazon). 

This leash floats and is brightly colored so it is easy to see and if you need to do a quick rescue you can pull your pup to safety.

Some folks recommend taking off the dog’s leash and collar to avoid getting caught on debris while swimming.  If you keep your Dachshund right next to you, this can be avoided.  I would much rather have a leash or life jacket handle to grab than nothing at all.

Getting Out Of The Water

It can be very difficult for your dog to exit the pool, lake, or pond by themselves.  If it is too slippery or steep, your dog will need some extra help getting out of the water.

Practice exiting the water a few times with your dog to show them the way out and continue to remain close to your pup in case they struggle.

Mandatory Breaks

Swimming is a great exercise for dogs and humans, but it is tiring too.  Dogs don’t understand how to preserve their energy while swimming.  You have to be the one to take them out of the water for a cool down break and a fresh drink of water in the shade.

When we took our pups to a lake on vacation, every time we jumped in the water, they would too.  We noticed that they wouldn’t get out of the water until we did.  Even though they were wearing their life jackets, we made sure we all got out of the water for a break to stay safe.

 

Dog Life Jacket

Every year, my husband and I enjoy canoeing and kayaking at Pine Creek in Northern Pennsylvania.  This past year, we read on their Facebook page that a large dog had fallen out of his family’s boat and was lost.  He was found several days later, but he didn’t make it.  Come to find out, he wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

Pine Creek really isn’t that rough, it has one section of small rapids, but definitely not white water rapids.  I felt very sad for the family, but I was also very concerned that they took their dog in a boat without a flotation device.

Accidents like this happen too often, which is so sad, because they can be easily prevented with a dog life jacket.

Even if your pup is a super strong swimmer, all dogs should wear a life jacket in a boat or in the water.

Dog life jackets have a nice handle on the back so you can lift your pup in and out of a boat.  This dog life jacket (From Amazon) is brightly colored, durable, and has some pretty excellent reviews.

Dachshund Body Shape

Dachshunds have large barrel-shaped chests, which makes them more top heavy that other dog breeds.  A dog life vest can help your Dachshund stay afloat with less strain on their neck and back.

Note: Wet Doxies are heavy!  When you lift your Dachshund out of the water into a boat or onto a dock, make sure the handle on the life jacket is strong and your back is ready for the heft.

Reno (pictured below) is sporting his bright orange life jacket.  He is the type of dog that will jump right in the water without permission.  So, regardless of his sad puppy eyes, he wears his life jacket.  Safety First Reno!

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds
 

Moving Water

Avoid letting your Dachshund swim in any type of moving water.  Waves and strong currents are very dangerous for your doxie.  Dachshunds work extra hard at paddling those short legs to support their extra long bodies, they can quickly over exert themselves and sink.

Stick with shallow pools, lakes, creeks or ponds instead.

Fresh Drinking Water

Always provide plenty of cool water for your Dachshund when you take a break from swimming. Dogs lose a heavy amount of fluid through panting and they need to stay hydrated to stay cool.

Whether you are swimming, hiking, playing, or walking, always provide fresh water for your dog to keep them hydrated and safe.  Take this dog water bottle with you, it is super convenient and made just for dogs.

Don’t let your Dachshund drink salty ocean water, lake water, or pool water.  They can get really sick.

Natural water sources, like lakes and ponds, can be contaminated.  If your doxie takes a drink, they may pick up some nasty bacteria or parasites and unfortunately, they can then pass them along to you.

Post You May Like: Nasty Parasites You Can Get From Your Dog.

Clean Off

Dachshunds are very prone to skin issues. Always rinse them off after swimming in any type of water.  Pool chemicals, like chlorine, can cause your dog’s skin to dry out.

After my three dogs would enjoy a day at the creek, we would always rinse off their fur coats with clean water.  This was usually done with the garden hose, as long as it wasn’t too cold.

Dog CPR

Learning how to perform CPR on your dog is an essential skill to know before going swimming.  If your dog is unconscious, you need to know how to act fast to save their life. 

Here is a YouTube Video from Sara Ondrako to teach you Canine CPR: What You Must Know.

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds
 

Sunscreen For Dogs

Protect your fur-baby from painful sunburn with doggie sunscreen.  Only use sunscreen that is formulated for dogs. 

You can find some highly recommended dog sunscreens and sunscreen alternatives on our post: How To Protect Your Dachshund From The Sun.

Secondary Drowning

This is a scary one for people and dogs!  If your dog inhales a bunch of water, goes unconscious, or sinks under water – even if they seem ok afterwards, they are at risk of secondary drowning.

When waters is aspirated into their lungs, this can cause pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Note: The symptoms of secondary drowning (aka dry drowning) may not show up for hours or days after they inhaled the water into their lungs.

If you notice any of the following signs of secondary drowning, contact your dog’s vet ASAP.

  • Hacking or Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Acting Lethargic

How To Teach Your Dog To Swim

Remember, many dogs don’t know how to swim by default.  Your dog needs to learn how to swim first.

  • Start with a small amount of water in a baby pool or very shallow creek
  • Don’t rush, let them dip their paws in the water and get comfortable
  • Get in the water with your pup
  • As your dog gets more comfortable, try water that is a little deeper
  • Lift your dog’s tummy or hid quarters while they swim to help them float.
  • Allow them to swim for a couple of minutes, then let them out.
  • Give them treats, make it a positive experience.

Tip #1: According to AKC.org, you should start introducing your dog to the water at a young age.  Keep the experience positive so they aren’t afraid of the water in the future.

Tip #2: Don’t let your dog swim right after eating.  This can cause a dangerous disease called bloat.

Video: Teach Your Dog To Swim Video by Fenrir Canine Training

Video: How To Teach Your Dog To Swim Video By Woof Dogs

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds
 

Fun In The Water

Once your Dachshund dog is more comfortable in the water, you can try a game of fetch with some fun pool toys!  The Floating DuraRing or the Tuff Pupper Floating Toy from Amazon are some great choices.

No matter how much your Dachshund loves to be in the water, it is up to you to keep them safe.  Please keep these water safety tips for Dachshunds in mind when your doxie takes a dip this summer.

Join our Facebook Group: Team Dachshund.

Does Your Dachshund Like To Swim?  Let Us Know Below.

 

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