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Lake Life: Why Pet Water Safety Matters


Man paddles a kayak with dog in lap

Fortunately, Austin doesn’t have a shortage of fun ways to beat the heat. Splashing around at Auditorium Shores is always great for owners and their pets, and if you want to get away (but not go too far), Lake Travis offers plenty of adventure. We encourage you to get out and about, and with our tips for pet water safety, everyone can have fun in the sun.


Before you and your pet head out this summer, make sure his or her microchip is current. Likewise, collar and ID tags should be secure and in good shape. Sometimes, owners opt for a breakaway collar to prevent their pet from getting caught on (or in) something.


Leptospirosis is typically found in freshwater, and getting vaccinated can protect your pet (and your family) from this disease. Vaccines and parasite preventives are also essential to protect your companion from Lyme disease and heartworm.

Fresh vs. Fresh

To prevent your pet from drinking unsanitized water, provide bottled water in a collapsible bowl instead. Offer frequent breaks to ward off dehydration, heatstroke, and unwanted sips of bacteria-laden water.

Too Hot for You?

In order to keep playing and splashing around, your pet may try to convince you that he or she is comfortable and happy – but the sun can really do a number on animals. A blanket or towel provides a safe spot to rest (preferably in the shade). Remember, rocks and sandy areas absorb heat and are often too hot for your pet to relax on.

Money Well Spent

Perhaps the best tip for pet water safety is to invest in a pet life jacket. While most dogs take to water naturally, others are not physically built to paddle effectively. A life jacket will give you peace of mind and is essential to have on hand. Many dogs will swim until they’re exhausted, making a life jacket even more important. We recommend one with handles that allows you to easily lift your dog out of the water.

Easy In, Easy Out

Teaching your pet how to safely enter and exit the water is crucial to pet water safety. This way, he or she knows what to do and where to go, eliminating doubt, confusion, and panic. Choosing a spot with a gradual drop-off is ideal so your pet can remain in a safe depth of water.  

Pet Water Safety

One of the most fundamental elements of pet water safety is canine training. At the very least, your dog should know to return to you when called and should be able to sit, stay down, and heel (especially in crowded places like Ladybird). Please contact us if your dog needs help in this area.

Our team wishes you and your companion a happy, safe summer. With our pet water safety tips, we’re sure you’ll have many fond memories together!


Contact Us

Westlake Animal Hospital


3930 Bee Cave Rd. Austin, TX 78746

Clinic Hours

Mon-Fri: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat & Sun: Closed