By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Swimming can be so refreshing for many types of dogs especially in the summer heat. It can be a great activity for them since it offers plenty of healthy exercise and is extremely easy on the joints. And many high-spirited dogs love it as a way to calm down and deplete some excess energy.

Many Retrievers seem to gravitate to it. But it’s important to remember that not all dogs enjoy being in the water, Greyhounds, for example, so never ever force your dog to swim or even go near the water if he/she doesn’t seem to like it.

If your dog does enjoy it, however, be very aware and cautious of the quality of the water.

Don’t allow your dog to drink from pools, lakes, or the ocean. Ingestion of excess chlorine or salt water can make your dog sick very quickly.

Give your dog a quick bath after swimming in chlorinated water. If you own a pool, fence it off securely from the rest of the yard and don’t let your dog have access to the pool area unless you are present. Dogs can become exhausted quickly and can panic if they are unable to find the way out. Make sure to dry your dog’s ears afterwards. Water retained in the ears can create an environment for bacteria to grow.

As a rule always keep a watchful eye on your dog; never allow your dog to swim unsupervised and always keep him/her safe from deep water levels and strong ocean currents.

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