Ahead of Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week (23rd – 29th April), Berkshire fire dog Mr Pelucchi has offered his water safety advice for dog owners.
“Durings my time training as a Firefighter I has learnt lots from all of my friends, one particular fing that has standed out to me has been Water Safety and hows this affects us dogs.
You wouldn’t fink it would, but every so often one of us will go for a swim, we mights do this on a regular basis, we mights go in after a ballie or even try to take on the local wildlife which is somefinks I really donts recommends! Anyways while we are in the water havings a swim about we might gets into troubles, gets tired, not be able to get out or gets caught in one of the many currents hidden under the surface. This is when the panic hits our peoples and they are compelled to follow their hearts and jump in after us and do everyfinks in their power to get to us. I’m sure my PA would want to do the same if it were me or even my sister Mosca in the water but I do hopes she mights take a moments to fink and remembers what we has learnt.
If she were to go in, then she herself mights get into troubles. There are so many hidden dangers beneath the surface of the water; the rocks; discarded shopping trolleys (some peoples is so messy); tree branches or roots to gets feets stuck in; aquatic plants; the sticky sinking muds; the currents and then there be the Cold Water Shock. Cold Water Shock can happen even on a warm summers day because the water will always be colder. All of these hazards are a danger to both dogs and their peoples. If the PA were to jumps in to try to save me and gets into troubles herself, who is goings to save us now? Somepawdy needs to rescue the PA, who will do that? Did she rings somepawdy before she entered the water? Has somepawdy seen her enter the water after me? Often us dogs can gets out of the water on our own, given a little time but we are unable to raise the alarm if our peoples are still in the water.
Monday 23rd April wills see the starts of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week. The Fire Services, RNLI along with Voluntary Search and Rescue Services will bes spending the week workings hard to educate everypawdy on the dangers in and arounds water and how to stay safe but still enjoy being close to waters.
“Drowning is one of the UK’s leading causes of accidental death. Each year more than 300 people drown after tripping, falling or just by underestimating the risks associated with being near water. Many more people are left with life changing injuries in water-related incidents.
The latest Water Incident Database statistics relate to 2016 and show there were 648 water-related fatalities, 315 of these were accidental drownings. In 2015 25% of people who accidentally drowned were running or walking near water.”
I thought I’d try to lend a paw and helps spread the word to a few dogs and their peoples! If your dog does gets into troubles in water and you finks yous needs to jumps in….. STOP! …Try to takes a breath, ring 999 or 112 and asks for the Fire & Rescue Service or the Coastguard if you are by the sea. They knows bestest how to help yous.
Now there do be some small simple steps yous can take to hopefullys avoid needings to call any of my friends, even the most well trained dog can gets themselves into troubles around water.
When you goes to the beach – I do likes the beach – checks the tide times so you donts get cut off, pawsonally we does try to avoid high tide and the crashing waves as they nots much fun. If you owns small peoples then only lets them swim when there be a lifeguard on duty and pay attentions to the flags flying.
If yous walkings along cliff paths then it be safer to keeps leads on and stays away from the edge, it only takes an interesting sniff on the breeze for us to lose concentrations …. and possibly a lot more!
When yous walkings along the river or around lakes then looks for the obvious dangers and considers the hidden risks and dangers. Takes note of any signs and noticeboards giving hazardous warnings, even if you knows the route well, somefink might have happened since your last visit. Remembers to tell somepawdy where yous is going for walkies and take a fully charged mobile phone.
If you wants to let your dog swim, be sure your dog has a safe and easy access in and out of the water. Swimmings can be tiring and getting outs might get tricky after some time. Be sure to check there has been no reports of the “Blue Green Algae” in the area before you lets your dog swim, it bes nasty stuff and is toxic to us dogs. Always remembers the water be colder than it looks, we don’t understands temperatures so that be down to yous to make the right decision for our safety. Us dogs can suffer cold water shock too! Remembers that if yous is throwings ballies out to be retrieved that you donts throw them too far especially if we has been walkings and swimmings for a long time. Sometimes our instinct to get the ballie and bring it back overrules our tiredness and need to take a break and rest.
If in doubts keep us safe and on our leads near open water especially near banks of fast flowing rivers and of course near them weirs as there do be lots of hidden and strong currents. Avoid walkings near the edge of rivers and lakes just in case the ground is unstable and especially after wet weather. We may decides we wants to take a dip with you on the end of our lead!
If your able to, invest in a dog life vest. I wears mine when I go to the beach when it be warm enough for me to paddle in the shallow pools and when I goes to the river to train with my Firefighter friends.
Remembers if your dog has struggled in the water they may have inhaled water and you should take us to see a vet. Both dogs and peoples can drown a few hours after gettings into difficulty in the water, as water may enter our lungs and we don’t always know it at the time.
Stays Safe and Be Water Aware.