The summer edition of National Service Dogs’ newsletter contains an article featuring health tips for the season. In this article, National Service Dogs writes:
“If you have an NSD dog, please do not take it swimming. Please consider avoiding this with your own pet dogs too. The rivers and ponds/lakes are teeming with bacteria and parasites that have been washed in from the recent flooding. Ducks and geese that carry most of the common bacteria and parasites hang around those wetland areas and their stool is a tasty, yet possibly deadly treat for any dog. The rule of thumb is don’t allow your pet to drink any water that you wouldn’t drink.
Swimming in pools is not recommended for future service dogs since we never
know if the potential client will want their trained dog to go into their swimming pool. There have been cases where trained dogs have been so obsessed with water that the safety of the child or adult client has been put in jeopardy. If your dog needs to cool off, a kiddie pool is all that is needed. Please make sure the water is changed daily since eye and stomach infections are easily transmitted through contaminated water.”
While I wash you thoroughly after we go swimming in the lake, Flicka, we shouldn’t go swimming anymore. We don’t want to upset the good people at National Service Dogs, and we know that they have our best interests at heart. We don’t want you to get sick. We do have some great photos of the times we did go swimming together, and we can always re-live these memories in our minds.