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Saltwater - Is it bad for your doodle?

I’m a Pisces. Water is my therapy, and so I love it when my dogs enjoy the water as much as I do. Whether we are swimming in a pool, sandbar chilling on the river, or in the salty Gulf, we always take precautions to keep the doodles safe and healthy.

A life jacket is a good idea and will give you peace of mind. My swimmers are skilled and strong and don’t necessarily need a vest for safety reasons, but wearing one keeps them from working too hard. This means they can enjoy the water for longer periods without exhaustion. And I love the handle on the top … a huge help when I’m pulling one back in the boat.

Some dogs like to “catch” the waves in the ocean. Saltwater shouldn’t be ingested, but it’s hard to keep them from it. Even a game of fetch will result in some swallowed saltwater. Their bodies will usually take care of that naturally - one episode of vomit and done, perhaps a loose stool later in the day. Multiple episodes of vomiting or prolonged diarrhea are signs of something more serious, and might need a vet’s attention.

Is saltwater bad for your doodle?

After a good long swim, the first order of business is always a good rinse. The chlorine in the pool water and the salt of the ocean can leave a doodle’s skin itchy and dry. I usually take that opportunity to lather them up and condition the coat also. If I can’t give a full bath, a long rinse will do in a pinch.

Always at the top of the Post-Swim routine: a good thorough ear cleaning. Doodles are prone to painful (and expensive!) ear infections, that’s a fact. You can mitigate with a good routine cleaning after the swim. There are ear drying products on the market, but you can make a DIY solution of 50% water 50% vinegar. Spray a bit in the ears, and give the base of the ear a quick little massage to work it down into the ear canal. That’ll help dry out any residual moisture. I follow up with a capful of rubbing alcohol to further evaporate any water.

So grab a tennis ball, and cool off with your dood! They’ll be exhausted after a day of water romp, and you know my motto: a tired puppy is a GOOD puppy.

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