How To Get Your Dog To Wear A Life Jacket

Summer is in full swing, and with the recent climate comes swimming and boating – actions usually mutually loved by canine and people. Despite the swimming prowess of many canines, canine can drown; it’s estimated that hundreds of canine die within the water yearly.

Dogs drown for a lot of causes. Some breeds, particularly brachycephalics like Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, are bodily maladapted to swimming. Many of them, even when they attempt to swim, merely sink like rocks to the underside of a pool. Even competent canine swimmers tire shortly, and in the event that they fall right into a swimming pool unsupervised, could also be unable to search out the steps that enable them to climb out. In open waters canine additionally tire shortly. A boating accident, or lack of human attentiveness, can put a canine at excessive danger for drowning.

Keep your canine secure within the water

Take the time to search out out in case your canine can swim. Maybe give him swimming lessons! Teach him how you can find and use a pool ramp to cut back his danger of drowning. To stop unintentional fall-in drowning tragedies, present shut grownup supervision and/or a stable fence across the pool with no dog-access until accompanied by a accountable human. Always have your canine put on a flotation machine if he’s hanging out across the pool, truly enjoying within the moist stuff, or becoming a member of you on boat rides.

Canine life vests are available in a wide range of kinds, ranging in worth from $15 to as a lot as $80. Quality is necessary, so Google “dog, life jacket” and browse all the data for the varied manufacturers earlier than shopping for, somewhat than simply choosing “cheap.” You don’t need buckles to fail if you end up relying on the vest to save lots of your canine’s life. Look for one with a sturdy deal with on the again, so you’ll be able to raise him out of the water when it is advisable save him!

dog life jacket
Photo: Ирина Мещерякова/Getty Images

How to get your canine to put on a life jacket

You’ve finished your analysis, bought the life jacket – now it’s time to toss it over your canine’s head and go for a check swim, proper? Wait a minute… decelerate!!

You need your canine to love his vest. Even if he’s a resilient soul who tolerates absolutely anything, take time to ensure he isn’t spooked by the cumbersome factor going over his head, with all of the straps and buckles that should be adjusted and snapped closed. Here’s how to make sure your canine loves his swimwear:

1.     Fit the vest fastidiously earlier than even approaching your canine. There will nonetheless be some changes wanted, however reduce them.

2.     Show him the vest. While he’s taking a look at it, feed him a high-value deal with. (Boiled or baked rooster is nice!)

3.     Hide the vest, pause, then current it once more, and feed rooster.

4.     Repeat a number of instances till the looks of the vest causes your canine to get completely satisfied and search for the rooster.

5.     Now (super-important!) maintain up the vest by the deal with with the straps unbuckled and invite him (with a deal with) to stroll below it. He’s selecting to place it on himself, somewhat than you placing it on him. If this half worries him, go gradual – one step at a time – till he’s completely satisfied to have the vest resting on his again. (Or – go away the chest strap buckled and invite your canine to step ahead and put his head by the opening. Do not simply plop it over his head – make certain he volunteers to maneuver by the opening.)

6.     Now take a while to pair the sound of the buckles with rooster, so he additionally thinks that “snap!” equals rooster!

7.     When he’s comfy placing himself into the vest and listening to the “snap!” sound, you’ll be able to buckle him in. Have somebody feed high-value treats when you snap the buckles closed, or use Lickimats to maintain him fortunately occupied with peanut butter, squeeze cheese or yogurt mashed into the grooves. (See Play With Your Food, April 2019). Alternatively, you’ll be able to smear gooey meals in your fridge door or vinyl flooring when you buckle.

8.     At first, hold the vest on for brief intervals – 10 to 15 seconds. Gradually enhance the size of time he wears the vest, till it’s clear he isn’t bothered by it.

9.     Now you’re prepared for the water! Again, take it gradual. Even in case your canine is an achieved swimmer, it could really feel unusual to him to be extra buoyant. Introduce him slowly to the water and persuade him that swimming with a life jacket is enjoyable.

This would possibly look like a number of effort simply to get your canine to put on a life vest. It will all be nicely value it sometime when it saves his life.

Top {photograph}: marekuliasz/Getty Images

Read Next: Swimming is Great Exercise for Dogs

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