If you’re planning on taking your dog with you on your Smith Mountain Lake vacation, make sure to read through the following tips to make sure you and your furry friend have a safe and enjoyable visit.

  1. Don’t Assume That Your Dog Loves The Water. It seems natural for dogs to know how to swim, but not all dog breeds are built for water activities. While some breeds are known for being one with the water, like Labrador Retrievers, dogs with flat faces and shorter legs (English Bulldogs and Pugs) are not known for their swimming prowess. Introduce your dog to the water slowly, and if he or she seems to struggle, then keep them ashore.
  1. Buy a Doggie Life Vest. Even if your dog is an expert swimmer, put him or her in a doggie life vest just to be safe.
  1. Take Lots of Breaks. Swimming works every muscle in your pet’s body. Make sure they get a break and enjoy some chill time in the shade so that they don’t get overheated or injured.
  1. Don’t Drink The Water. Freshwater has algae and parasites, and pool water is full of chlorine. Bring a bowl and plenty of bottled water with you so that your pet can stay safely hydrated.
  1. Check for Ticks. Even if you give your pet flea and tick treatment, be diligent about checking and removing ticks from their coats in between water sessions. When left untreated, your pet could become infected with a parasitic infection such as Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  1. Use a Leash. Never let your dog roam unfamiliar area unattended, even if it’s fenced in. Remember, your pet is in a new environment with new sounds, smells, and shiny things to chase after. Having them on a leash will keep them out of harm’s way.

Familiarize yourself with Smith Mountain Lake veterinarians just in case your dog needs medical attention. Remember to pack all medication that your pet is taking and store it properly. Bring plenty of their favorite treats, and a familiar blanket or dog bed from home to ease the transition of being in a new place. Following these simple rules will ensure that you and your dog have a memorable Smith Mountain Lake vacation.