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Published: Jul 05, 2012

Many people assume that all dogs love swimming, but in reality, dogs' personalities vary, with some enjoying water sports more than others. Other dogs can't even swim. If you are going to be introducing your dog to the water this summer, there are a few ways to make it a safe and enjoyable experience for all parties.

Read up about your breed before attempting to introduce it to water for the first time, reports. Certain breeds, like Labrador retrievers, were bred to plunge into bodies of water, so owners should not be surprised if their Lab dives into the family pool or river behind the house and swims with ease. Other breeds (and even some retrievers) will be hesitant about taking a dip, and may prefer not to go in at all.

You should also talk to your vet about your dog's water activities this summer. Some veterinarians may recommend giving certain vaccines for dogs to protect against diseases like leptospirosis, a bacterial infection which dogs can contract from lake or river water. Giardia in dogs can also be an issue for avid canine swimmers. Routine flea and tick medication may require more frequent application in dogs who spend a lot of time in the water.  Your veterinarian can advise you on protecting your pet properly during the summer months.

When you are bringing your dog somewhere to swim, it is always important to have the necessary first aid for dogs in case of an accident or emergency.