Owners should not try and rescue their swept-away dogs

Wednesday, 10th April 2013

It's a heart-stopping moment when your beloved dog is pulled in by the waves and your natural reaction is to plunge in to save your canine.

But medical experts have strongly advised against it due to the fact that hounds are stronger swimmers than humans, the Associated Press reports.

Dr Lynn Miller, a veterinarian who runs the animal clinic at Travis Air Force Base, north of San Francisco, said: "Most pet owners are very attached to their pets. But you're not going to save your dog by risking your own life."

Breeds like German shepherds, pit bull terriers and labrador retrievers are built like boats and can make their way back to dry land using the currents or their innate fight-or flight senses.

Whereas other dogs such as pugs, bulldogs and corgis should not be on a beach without a life vest and perhaps a dog collar and lead, the vet explained.

Dan Murphy, an ocean lifeguard specialist advised pet owners in such a position to inform a lifeguard who will attempt a rescue.