7. How to help your dog swim (if he’s not great at it)
Why it can be dangerous: You love being out on the lake or sea—so Champion is game too, right? Not necessarily: Not all dogs know how to swim, and more muscular dogs are more likely to sink, while fatter ones will be more likely to float. Barrel-chested, short-legged dogs like corgis, dachshunds, and Basset hounds often struggle to swim—especially brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs, whose short snouts are precariously close to water. Even athletic dog breeds like collies and Australian shepherds can struggle in water because their thick, heavy coats weigh them down.
Solution: It’s a good idea to have a properly fitted life vest for your pooch if you’re on the water. Look for adjustable neck and torso straps for a better fit, a grab handle so you can easily pull your pooch from the water, and reflective detailing so you can spot him in the water. We like West Marine’s Neoprene Pet Life Jacket ($39.99) and Ruffwear’s Float Coat ($79.95); each comes in multiple sizes to ensure a proper fit for your dog.
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