Water Safety Tips for Dogs and Where to Swim in St. Louis

August 25, 2022

dog water safety

Summertime means soaking up some sun by the pool or on adventures! And we all know that an adventure isn’t always complete unless your dog can come too. There are so many things to do and places to explore together. Before you head out and cool off in local rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, or in the pool with your dog, make sure you keep these safety tips in mind! 

Water safety


When near a body of water, always know where your puppy or dog is at all times. Whether you are out exploring a new swimming spot, or just relaxing around the pool at home, make sure you can always keep an eye on your dog(s). You should never allow your dog to swim unsupervised. Be extra vigilant when watching your puppy (or kitten) around a pool. Their quick, quirky movements or moments of high excitement could accidentally cause them to fall right over the edge into the pool. Stay nearby so you can scoop them out immediately if this happens. 

Pool Safety

If your dog knows how to swim and has access to your personal pool, make sure they can get out quickly and safely. Non-slip stairs, ramps, or ladders specifically designed for dogs can save their lives. If your dog does not know how to swim or cannot get out of the pool without assistance, make sure they are confined or you have a tall fence around your pool so that they cannot access the pool at all. 


After a swim, it’s a good idea to rinse off your dog. This will ensure that no salt, pool chemicals, or bacteria from a public swimming hole will dry on their fur. If it does and your dog licks themselves later, it could cause them to become sick. Health and safety are our number one priority! 

Life Jacket

Beyond the Dog always recommends a life jacket when swimming with your dog! Selecting a jacket that is the right fit, buoyancy, has handles, and is a vibrant color are all crucial to water safety. A good life jacket should keep your dog afloat, allow you to easily grab them if needed, and help you see them even at a distance. 


Swimming can be a lot of work for your dog! Make sure that you provide them with shade, frequent breaks, and time to nap. 


Always have safe, clean drinking water with you, especially when it’s hot and your dog is engaging in a lot of physical activities. Your dog might be tempted to just drink the water they are swimming in, but try to prevent this as much as possible. Water from rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, or pools can contain chemicals, parasites, bacteria, etc. that could make your dog sick. Check out our blog “10 Important Dog Heat Safety Tips” to learn more about keeping your dog safe and hydrated.

Where to swim in St. Louis

Now that you are well-informed about dog water safety, here are a few places to jump right into the water! These options vary from locations to teach your dog how to swim, or a place to just let them dive right in. Have fun and be safe! 

Castlewood is a park with access to water, hiking, playgrounds, and more! If you venture deep into the park, you can bring your canoe or kayak and navigate the ravine. It’s very peaceful with options for sun and shade. Make sure your dog is on-leash while exploring. 1401 Kiefer Creek Road.

This boarding, grooming, and daycamp establishment has reservations open for swimming appointments or access to the dog-only pool during Doggie Day Camp. All dogs must be up-to-date on their vaccinations. What a great way to socialize and get their energy out in a safe and supervised environment! 13998 Manchester Road.

This privately-owned dog park requires your pup to be fully vaccinated and to undergo a temperament test. Once approved, your dog will have access to lots of land and opportunities to play and frolic in small areas of water! Month-to-month, quarterly, or an annual membership fee is required. 2499 Marshall Road.

At Creve Coeur Lake, you can canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or stay dry and walk, run, bike, or rollerblade! Pets are allowed but need to be kept on a leash. 

Happy Hounds is a 10-acre dog park for members only. There are two side-by-side, fenced-in sections separated for small and large dogs. You can explore their nature trail, or relax on the beach or jump off the dock into their custom swimming hole. 2448 Pond Road.

Want to teach your puppy or dog how to swim? Or interested in swimming for exercise or strength training for your dog? Canine Aquatics is perfect for you! They offer private lessons to teach your dog how to swim, or independent and group (max of 3) sessions to use the pool as you deem fit for your dog and their needs! 7706 Big Bend Boulevard.