Swimming can be a great way for pets and their owners to cool off and have fun during the summer. Unfortunately, not all owners go home with a smile on their faces. Some end up in tears after the death of their beloved pet. Survey reveals that about 40,000 pets die in drowning accidents every year.

Whether you head to the lake, the beach or the pool, you need to take some extra precautions to ensure that your dog stays safe and have fun this summer.

Never leave your pet unattended

Dogs should never be left unsupervised while swimming, even if it’s just for a few minutes. While many of them know how to paddle to keep themselves afloat in the water, accidents can happen. Even the most enthusiastic and strongest swimmers can panic if they accidentally fall in the pool. Dogs should be supervised as if they were small children.

Introduce them to the water slowly

Some dogs feel uncomfortable in water. Tossing your dog into the water is not a good way to introduce your furry friend to the water. If you do so, your pet may end up traumatized. Start by letting your dog spend some time in the kiddie pool. Once he feels comfortable, that’s the only time you should let him jump into the deep end.

Make sure your dog knows how to swim

Just because dogs swim pretty great in movies, it does not necessarily mean that all dogs can swim. Believe it or not, not all dogs are efficient swimmers. Small dogs, too young and senior dogs are generally poor swimmers.

To ensure your pets safety, teach them to swim and exit the pool.  Attach the leash and slowly allow your pet to walk in the water. You can also put on a floatation vest if needed.