Often a dog’s enthusiasm can be far greater than their abilities. Most of the time that means miscalculated leaps and faces stuck in too-small holes. But taking on an aggressive ocean can be a dangerous feat for a little dog. Even a human can’t safely manage strong waves during a storm.
One human went for it anyway. In 2017, a woman ran directly into hostile waters to save her floundering dog, and the whole thing got caught on camera. The poor struggling pup jumped off the Brighton Palace Pier in England and instantly found itself in trouble.
The waves were so strong, the first one completely washed over the woman and knocked her down as she ran towards her dog. It sent both the woman and dog back up towards the shore several feet. The woman was able to find her footing a bit, so she stood. The pup tried its best to swim towards her too.
Eventually, the distance between them became small enough that the woman could reach out and grab the dog. She squeezed it tightly as another large wave knocked them back.
By this point, another person ran over to grab the dog and take it out of the ocean. The dog had a rough go of it, but emerged from its ordeal okay.
If its person didn’t have the guts to do what she did, who knows what might have happened to that dog. She must really love her baby!
You can watch the incredible rescue below:
Is It Safe To Let Your Dog Swim In The Ocean?
It should go without saying that if the Coast Guard or National Weather Service issues warnings or advises against swimming, that includes your dog. Most public beaches will have signs posted. In the case of the video we just saw, the pup fell from a pedestrian pier.
Many dogs love to swim and it’s good exercise for them too, provided you observe some important safety measures.
Equip Your Pup With A Life Vest
The safest way to keep your dog afloat is with a doggy life vest. Floatation devices are especially important for breeds like bulldogs and basset hounds, with larger chests and short front legs. They have a harder time swimming and tire faster than say a Labrador would.
Always make sure the vest fits your dog properly and securely. New York City dog trainer Denise Mange notes:
“In order for a canine life jacket to work properly, the fit is critical. When choosing a life jacket, you want to look for an ergonomic cut that works with your dog’s particular body type.”
A vest or harness with a handle makes plucking a dog from the water, like you just saw above, easier too. If you plan on walking near strong current bodies of water, use a harness on your dog.
Even if they can’t tell you, dogs can get hypothermia in freezing water. Watch out for warning signs like lethargy or noticeable shivering. If it’s too cold for you to swim, it’s probably too cold for your dog!
Watch For Ear Infections
Dogs with floppier ears are especially in danger of getting ear infections. Make sure to clean your dog’s ears after they swim and check for any signs of infection or concerning ear odors. Avoid letting excess moisture build-up in those spots.
Personally, I’d jump into a raging ocean if it meant helping my dog. I’m willing to bet a lot of you would too.