Dry Drowning Defined - How to keep your pet safe this Summer!

It’s summertime in Texas and you know what that means… cooling off in the pool with your furry friends. However with the spike in temperatures and the increase of time spent in the water for everyone, there is an increased risk for more dogs to become susceptible to dry drowning. Dry drowning unfortunately sneaks up fast and can start to take its shape in your pets just hours or days after they swam.

What is dry drowning? The inhalation of an excessive amount of water can interfere with the dog’s ability to breathe as their lungs become filled with the water they swallowed too quickly. Dry drowning is extremely similar to aspiration as the water the dog inhales goes into their vocal cords and lungs, typically leading to spasms causing a difficulty in breathing. This form of secondary drowning is completely necessary to understand so that if your pet is ever caught in a situation that so many other peoples' pets get involved in each summer you will know and understand how to react as well as what steps you will need to take.

What are the common symptoms of dry drowning in dogs? Often dogs will show symptoms such as struggling to breathe or wheezing, coughing or choking, excessive drooling, a rough crackling sound which comes from their lungs, an inconsistent heartbeat, bluish skin and gums (lack of oxygen), and, the most common, being extreme lethargic. Dry drowning can also occur in the water and if your pet passes out or appears dizzy and cannot walk straight your pet may have water intoxication. If your pet experiences ANY of these symptoms take them to the vet immediately for professional care. Trusting your gut and acting fast in this situation could potentially save your pets life!

How can you prevent dry drowning? Educating yourself about the causes, symptoms, and preventive measures which can be taken to avoid dry drowning in your dogs are all ways which could potentially help you and your family refrain from such devastating circumstances. Unlike humans when dogs begin to feel tired after exercising in the water, fetching a ball, or just swimming they often do not stop to take a break. This is when it falls into your hands to make sure your pet is staying safe in the water. Make them take breaks as this will encourage them to take that extra time they need to realize they are tired. Especially if you are headed out for a day on the boat or going to spend the day at the beach, make your dog wear a life vest. This ensures that their head will be safely kept above the water therefore taking away the deadly risk of inhaling water. If you have a dog who absolutely loves to stick their head in fountains or underwater to retrieve toys, stopping this behavior with a life vest would most definitely be in your pups favor!


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