How to keep your water-loving dogs healthy during and after their swimming sessions!
Swimming seems to be a favorite activity for many dogs, whether in a pool, ocean, lake or even wading in a stream! It is a great source of exercise, a great way to cool your dog down after a long hike and a non-weight bearing activity for older dogs; however, it can create dry, itchy skin as well as hotspots. Healthy skin and a healthy coat on a dog can be described as consistent color, when their hair springs back when it is touched, no scabs, crustiness, scales nor roughness, free of fleas and ticks, or irritated bites from parasites. Whenever my dogs take a dip, I follow the tips below to ensure healthy skin post swim:
Avoid standing water for swimming:
Usually just dirty, stagnant water, surrounded by mosquitos is not the ideal place for your dog to swim or even take a drink from after a hot day. Try to find a nearby stream or lake or even a local dog park that has water for your dog to play in.
Rinse thoroughly with fresh water after a swim:
This is helpful if your dog has been swimming in a pond or salt water and especially useful for dogs with sensitive skin or ones prone to hot spots.
Dry your dog off as best you can:
Take a towel and dry off your dog as best as possible, focusing on the ears, neck, and belly and above and underneath the tail where water seems to retain. By drying your dog off, you can avoid hotspots or yeast. If hotspots or yeast arises, Springtime’s Fresh Factors or Longevity would be great additions to help support seasonal comfort, maintain healthy skin, and the body’s normal inflammatory response, as well as support a healthy immune system.
Clean and dry the ears:
Use a small cloth or cotton ball to absorb excess water around and gently inside the ear canal to avoid ear issues.
Add supplements to your dog’s diet:
After swimming, a dog’s skin dries out which is why most groomers recommend using conditioner on your dog’s skin after a swim and combing it out. Providing omega 3s in your dog’s diet will help replace the natural oils that are lost. Two great options to try would be Springtime’s Skin and Coat Oil or Springtime’s Omega 3-6-9 Softgels.
Try some Astaxanthin:
Dogs with short, thin hair would benefit from sun protection before their swim. Adding a supplement like Astaxanthin can help support your dog’s skin health during UV and sun exposure.
Swimming can be exhausting – do not forget to have fresh water available for your dog after their swim to hydrate and some shade to dry off.