BaxterBoo Blog
May 10, 2012

Fun in the Sun: Aquatic Safety for Dogs

main image
It's a little intimidating to blog now that so many of you folks have recently subscribed and are expecting deep, profound nuggets to chew on! I'm having performance anxiety! So I thought if I couldn't be thought provoking, I could at least go for heroic. And nothing is more heroic than saving lives, right? With the warmer weather approaching, we often head for bodies of water to stay cool. And of course you will take your best friend, but there are things to consider before your outing on the boat, to the pool, or other aquatic playground.

Scuba dog photo courtesy of zebedee.zebedee.

One would think that we dogs intrinsically know what to do around water - after all, we have our own swim stroke named after us. This may or may not be the case, however. Obviously, dogs with the word "water" in their breed name such as the Portuguese Water Dog (now famous thanks to our First Dog) will take better to water than stout breeds such as the Basset Hound, Pugs, Dachshunds, Bulldogs, and Boxers. Very slender dogs such as whippets and greyhounds also struggle in the water. Small dogs may be able to swim, but their lighter mass makes them more susceptible to hypothermia.

So are these breeds doomed to spending the dog days of summer on dry land? Where there is a will, there is a way, friends! And I have searched the world for the best products to ensure you get to spend all of your activities together in health and safety... and look good while doing it too!

The Life Vest

The life jacket is the most important part of your dog's boating and pool party wardrobe, even though we have lots of smashing beach and nautical-themed attire. The fit of the life vest is integral to the function: If it's too loose, it may slip off. If it's too tight, it may not provide enough flotation, or make your dog very uncomfortable. We've provided detailed measuring instructions and measurements to give the best fit. Bright colors with reflective portions will make it easier to spot your dog. Note the handle on the top to facilitate easy rescues.


Even for dogs that are comfortable swimming, supervision is important so that they don't become lost, cold, disoriented with waves, or over tired. Lead your dog to where they can get out to prevent drowning from fatigue. If the water conditions are questionable (dirty or foul odor) do not let your dog swim to prevent exposure to pathogens or chemicals that might make your dog sick. Wash your dog thoroughly to rinse off any contaminants, taking special care with the ears to prevent infections.

The Eyes Have It

Don't forget that reflective surfaces such as water, sand, and concrete can be hard on your pup's peepers. Investing in UV protection with Doggles can help prevent cataracts and make your pet much more comfortable. Not to mention that dogs in shades just look amazingly stylish! The first photo with Ziva, the sunbathing golden retriever, is wearing our Doggles K9 Optix Sunglasses in Silver.

Fashionable Finds with a Purpose

Extend your dogs style and safety with an extra layer of UV protection. For dogs with very short or limited hair, sunscreen is important. Tanks and Tees not only look amazing, but they also protect fragile skin. Hawaiian or nautical-themed attire brings a festive mood to any occasion! (I was really just looking for an excuse to share one of my favorite photos of the twins, Sassy and Allie! Sigh.)

We've had some great photos and stories you've submitted of warm-weather adventures, and we hope you'll keep them coming! We just love our BaxterBoo fans and hope these tips will keep you all safe!

Take care,


Chela on May 10 at 12:42 PM said:

Baxter - do dog paws get too hot from the temperature of the cement or asphalt? What can we do? Keep our dogs inside the house?! Put shoes on our dog's paws???
baxter on May 10 at 1:35 PM said:

Yes, hot paws can be a problem for us. Booties or sandals are helpful. Sometimes people buy these when their pets have allergies to grass and weeds to keep us from chewing up our paws! Baxter
Debby on May 10 at 2:08 PM said:

Kirby refuses to wear boots so we rub Mushers Wax on his pads to combat the hot pavement.
Marilyn on May 10 at 2:09 PM said:

We lived on an acreage that had a half acre pond on the property. I would hurry to get chores done in the morning when it was cool and then in the afternoon the neighbors would come over and we would swim. I had Beagles and Chihuahuas and we were all in the pond. The Chihuahuas would see me in the pond and they would dive in the water like a Labrador Retriever. It was a sight to see. All the creatures trying to cool off in the water on the innertube. It was Heavenly.
Chela on May 10 at 2:11 PM said:

Thank you for your reply Baxter! I'll definitely have to look into getting a pari of sandals or booties for my little guy. I'm not so sure he's going to love them, but I'd rather he be safe!
Debby on May 10 at 2:15 PM said:

Kirby is a fast swimmer so we attach a 6' fabric tie off to his collar for the times we have to pull him back when he's swimming out to deeper water at the lake. Have a question. I need a lightweight life jacket so he can swim but still be safe since he will swim as long as we are in the water. The one we have is too bouyant and not only keeps half his body above water but forces him to fight to keep from being flipped on his side. He is 15 lbs. Any suggestions?
baxter on May 10 at 9:23 PM said:

Smaller dogs do have different flotation needs. We have several different models to choose from and you can see how they might fit Kirby better. This model is designed for smaller dogs specifically, but he might be on the border as far as weight: Baxter
Tips for Keeping Pets Safe this Memorial Day on May 28 at 4:07 AM said:

[...] topic has been covered more extensively in a previous blog, but remember not to leave pets unattended around water as not all dogs are natural-born swimmers. [...]
tito travels on June 1 at 3:29 AM said:

I'm a Doxie Pin and also a great swimmer so not all little dogs are doomed to a life on dry land or swimming with a life vest. Also, my mom was nice enough to buy me a pair of doggles to protect my eyes here in Africa, lucky me!
Joanne Curtis on July 18 at 8:21 PM said:

I think we should keep our dogs safe no matter what to do and properly dressed.
Elle on August 22 at 2:35 PM said:

My dog likes to dunk her head underwater, but she doesn't like the water in her eyes. Do doggles let in water or are they like people goggles and keep water out?
Mary on August 22 at 3:03 PM said:

My guess is that dog hair prevents a suction seal (which is what keeps water out of human eyes with the rubber sealing against our skin.) So it may help some, but probably wouldn't be as water tight as your dog would like.

What do you think?

You are not logged in.
This entry was posted by .

Recent Articles

article image

January 23, 2018

Watch This: Cat Offended By Coin

My cat and I play this game sometimes. I'm never sure if she's really offended by things on the table, or if she wants to see how many times I'll pick the item up. The cat version of fetch, if you will. :) 

article image

January 22, 2018

What To Do When Your Dog’s A Night Owl

You’ve had a long day, you’re getting ready to turn in, and suddenly, your dog’s wired for sound. He’s tearing around the house. He’s wanting to play. What can you do when your daytime schedule conflicts with your nightt

article image

January 21, 2018

Watch This: Sunday SloMo - The Nose Lick

This pup has quite the tongue! I'll bet he gives great doggy kisses! 

Subscribe to

Baxter's Backyard!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Site & Contents ©®. BaxterBoo is located in the United States.

Transaction Processing
Baxter Boo is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Pet Supplies & Foods - Retail in Centennial CO
Guarantee Site Secure