Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds

13 Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds

Updated 06/26/2023 by Ava Jaine

Whether it’s a beach party, a lake vacation, or a simple dip in the backyard pool, water activities can be a refreshing source of joy for both you and your Dachshund. However, it’s important to prioritize water safety to ensure your Dachshund’s well-being.

Before your doxie dives in, here are 13 Essential 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 doggie water park.

Water Safety Tips For Dachshunds

Help your doxie 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

Can Dachshunds Swim?

Yes, some Dachshunds can swim, but not all of them!  Some doxies can’t swim or float at all.

Never assume that your pup can swim naturally when placed in the water.

Some dog breeds, including Bulldogs, Maltese, Shih zu, and our Dachshund pals may only be doing the doggy paddle for survival instead of enjoyment.

Your Dachshund’s extra short legs and a large barrel chest can make it more difficult for them to float and paddle on their own for very long.

Be Patient, Never Force

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 your doxie doesn’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

Hold On

Keep a leash on your Dachshund when walking near the shore or swimming in the water.

You can use a long floating dog leash from Amazon. 

This leash floats on top of the water 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 quickly than nothing at all.

Teach Them How To Get Out

It can be very difficult for your little long dog to exit the pool or natural water source 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 doxie 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 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.


Every Dog Needs a Life Jacket!

Everyone needs to hear this!  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 dog 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 and they can easily be prevented by using a dog life jacket.

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

Best Dachshund Life Jacket

Grab your Dachshund a sturdy life jacket before your next water adventure. Dog life jackets have a nice handle on the back so you can lift your pup in and out of a boat if needed.

Measure for sizing: Use a tape measure and wrap it around your doxie’s ribcage girth at the deepest point to help you choose the correct size.

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.


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.

How to do CPR on a Dog

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

Is Your Dog’s Airway Clear? It’s important to make sure the airway is clear before attempting CPR on a dog. Open your dog’s mouth and check their throat for obstructions.

Is Your Dog Breathing? Does your dog’s chest rise and fall? If you can’t tell, place your hand near the dog’s nose to feel for airflow. Also, check if you can feel a heartbeat.

Note: If your dog is breathing, CPR is not necessary.


Dog CPR Steps

1. Call Your Vet: Have someone call your dog’s vet if you find your dog isn’t responding while you begin dog CPR.

2. Mouth Placement: If you have a small dog (under 30 lbs), you should cover both the dog’s nose and the mouth with your own mouth. On larger dogs, only place your mouth over the nose, but try to prevent air from escaping through the dog’s mouth by using one hand to hold the mouth and jaw shut while giving breaths.

3. Artificial Respiration: Blow air into your dog’s nose and/or mouth (depending on their size). Enough air to cause your dog’s chest to rise. Then, release your lips so the air can escape. Try to produce 20 – 30 breaths per minute.

4. Chest Compressions: Lay your hand over the heart and press firmly enough to compress the chest about one-third to one-half its usual depth. Perform 10 – 12 compressions over a five-second span. Repeat these steps with one breath to 10 – 12 compressions ratio.

5. Breathing Check: Check to see if your dog has started breathing again every couple of minutes. If not, continue dog CPR.

Here’s a demo video you can watch from Good Morning America’s YouTube channel: How to perform CPR on your dog.

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

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

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