Many breeds of dogs are natural swimmers and will be confident in the water from their first exposure. Some others need to be taught to swim, and some breeds, such as bulldogs, greyhounds, pugs and dachshunds, are very poor swimmers or cannot swim at all. Swimming in the ocean presents a number of challenges for dogs; owners should keep an eye on their pets and keep a few pointers in mind when taking the dog to the beach.
Scan the water for jellyfish before allowing your dog to enter the water. Like humans, dogs can suffer serious injury from jellyfish stings.
Dissuade your dog from drinking salty sea water, which will make a dog sick, just as it can make you sick.
Maintain a constant watch over your dog and do not allow it to go too far out. Strong tides can easily pull a dog out to deeper water. Do not throw balls or sticks overly far.
Put a canine life jacket on your dog if the dog is not a strong swimmer, or is old and may tire quickly. Many dogs, focused on finding balls and sticks, will stay out longer than they should.
Refrain from grabbing or holding your dog while in the water with it, especially if your dog is not a strong swimmer. Just as a weak human swimmer might react negatively to such attention, so too may a dog with weak swimming skills.
Rinse the salt water from your dog's fur with fresh water when you are done swimming. Salt and other minerals in the ocean can damage your dog's coat.