HELP! MY Dog Can’t Swim!

Most dogs are good swimmers - but not all. Dogs can get in trouble if they fall into a lake or a river or a backyard swimming pool. Water is always a potential hazard that should be respected. Even strong swimmers should wear a life jacket in a boat or canoe.  

If you find yourself facing an emergency with a dog floating unconscious in the water, pull him out and suspend him in the air by his rear legs. Gently swing him back and forth to drain the water from his lungs. If he is too heavy, rest the front legs on the ground like a wheelbarrow as you swing him. This, incidentally, is similar to the procedure to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking dog without the added step of wrapping your arms around your dog’s belly and thrusting forecfully. 

After swinging your dog by the legs, lay him on his side with his head slightly lower that the rest of his body. This will allow any additional water to drain from his lungs. Hopefully this will be enough to revive your dog - if not, get him to a vet as soon as possible.