Veterinarian Lynn Miller says owners who jump in the ocean to go after a dog that may have been swept out are unnecessarily risking their own lives and may make the situation worse for their pets. "You're not going to save your dog by risking your own life," Dr. Miller says. "It does your dog no favors in the end if he comes back and you're dead." Since November, five people have perished trying to save their pets from Northern California waters. Dr. Miller says dogs' instincts, natural swimming ability and insulated bodies will usually ensure they make it back to land. If not, rescue workers are well-equipped to save a pet trapped in water.