Dog Swimming Tips
Published On: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Many dogs love to swim, but there are a few tips you need to keep in mind in order to make sure your swimming dog stays safe while enjoying time in the pool. You may think that dog swimming just comes naturally to all breeds, but the truth of the matter is that some dogs do not like to swim at all, or may have difficulty swimming. Just because we call it the “dog paddle”, doesn’t mean that dog swimming is automatic to all dogs! So, here are a few dog swimming tips to help keep your dog safe in the water, and to encourage non swimming dogs to learn to enjoy their time in and around the water.
One of the most important dog swimming safety tips to follow is to teach your dog how to get out of the water. Even for dogs that love to swim and that will jump into any body of water around, a swimming dog is in danger if it cannot figure out how to get out of the water. Pools can be especially dangerous for unsupervised swimming dogs because the dog cannot lift itself up over the side of the pool and must be able to find the stairs in order to get out. Therefore it is extremely important that you teach your dog how to get out of a pool using the stairs before they are allowed in or near the pool.
For dogs that are afraid to swim, or don’t naturally know how to swim, you can get your dog swimming in no time by using some positive reinforcement and getting in the pool with them. You may have to hold them at first or use a flotation device, until they get the feel of the water, but if you take them in the water in small doses and make it a positive experience each time with praise, treats, and such, you should have a happily swimming dog in no time!
Dog pool toys (link to pool toys article) are great fun for swimming dogs and should be appropriate for the pool and properly cared for. There are toys designed specifically for pool play and these toys can keep your dog swimming in the pool all afternoon. Pool toys should be made of a material that floats, should be easy to locate, and must be easily held by the dog while allowing them to still safely swim at the same time. Dog toys should be removed from the pool after your swimming dog is done for the day and cleaned off and left to dry to avoid bacteria growth that could later wind up in your dog’s mouth.
Dog swimming is a great form of exercise for dogs and a great way to keep active dogs entertained, but the one drawback to a dog that spends a lot of time in the pool is that the chemicals can dry out their coat, so it is important to rinse off your dog with clean water after their dog swimming playtime is over.
Following these important dog swimming tips will keep your swimming dog safe, happy, and healthy all summer long.
For additional information on dog pools or dog topics please visit our dog pool article center.