Don't Drown For Your Pet - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Don't Drown For Your Pet

Don't swim after your pet.  U.S. Coast Guard warns dog owners that dogs are better swimmers than humans.

Imagine your beloved pet being swept out to sea.  It's completely heart-wrenching.  Doing nothing seems unthinkable.

But experts say doing nothing is exactly what you should do.  Dogs are better swimmers than humans.

Here is the science behind it...

Dogs have a low center of gravity, they have four legs for propulsion, their lungs have a higher capacity than a human's, their fur keeps them warm in cold water, many even have waterproof undercoats and some dog breeds have webbed feet.

Dogs such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and pit bull terriers are built like boats.

Then there are some breeds that shouldn't be on a beach without a life vest.  Experts say this includes pugs, bulldogs, dachshunds, corgis, Chihuahuas and other toy dogs.

Dogs can find their way back to shore using currents and their fight-or-flight instinct.  Experts say dogs are single-minded, and they focus on finding safety.  However, humans panic or become distracted.

Some of those who tried to make a rescue went into shock from the cold water.  Others tried to fight the current and got tumbled around.  And then you have to think about what you will do if you reach your pet.  Can you get the pet and yourself back to shore?

Just in Northern California alone, five people have died in attempted dog rescues.  So now the Coast Guard has started a campaign to keep people on dry land if their dogs get caught up in the surf.

Now while it is rare for a dog to be swept away by a rip current, it could happen.  And if it does, experts say you should let a lifeguard know right away. 

Coast Guard experts say most dogs are more than happy to climb aboard the rescue boat.

 



 

 

 


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