Helpful Swimming Tips for Dogs
Swimming, for dogs, is a natural ability, and most dogs are ready to jump right in the pool with the rest of the family and dog paddle around the pool easily. Some dogs may have issues such as fear of water, nervousness, anxiety, and the lack of ability to swim. Teaching your dog to swim is easy and can be taught to your dog with a few good swimming lessons. Read on further for helpful swimming tips for your dog.
Introduce Your Dog to the Water
Slowly and patiently bring your dog closer to the water, kneel down next to your dog and play in the water with your hands. If your dog observes that you are not afraid of it, they will calm themselves. When it's time to enter the pool, slowly bring your dog to the stairs leading into the pool. Don't make your dog jump in at the deep end, it will scare them and make them panic. Adding a few fun pool toys or their favorite toys to the pool will show your dog that swimming is meant for fun and playtime.
Use a Life Vest
When your dog is just getting use to the water and learning how to swim, use a life vest. It will give them a sense of security and prevent them from sinking to the bottom and possibly drowning. Remember all dogs are not swimmers, some need to be taught. You can purchase a life vest specifically created for dogs at your local pet supply store, online, and where ever dog supplies are sold.
Don't Let Your Dog Drink Pool Water
Dogs have a habit of tasting and drinking things all around them; they don't know what's healthy for them and what's not. Pool water is full of chlorine and other chemicals that keep your pool water clean and free of harmful bacteria. Although the water is safe and clean to swim in, it's not recommended for consumption. Keep a close eye on your dog and immediately stop them from drinking the pool water.
Allow Your Dog to Swim
Once your dog is accustomed to the water, allow it to swim for short 20-second intervals. Start with your dog standing at the steps of the pool, and slowly guide it into the pool by holding it gently. Once your dog is further into the pool release your grip just a little bit and its natural instinct will prompt it to start dog paddling. Allow this to happen for twenty seconds and then return your dog to the standing position on the pool steps and repeat. Once your dog gets use to swimming, he will happily swim for longer intervals at a time.
Explore Other Bodies of Water
When your dog becomes an excellent swimmer and enjoys the experience, begin taking them with you to your favorite lake or beach. When visiting larger bodies of water, always make sure your dog has a life vest on to ensure safety. Especially at the beach, the strong waves and changing currents can suddenly scare your dog, causing them to panic and forget about their ability to swim.
Dogs can learn to love swimming and join the family in all of their fun swimming activities. Remember to slowly introduce them to the water, make it fun, use a life vest and go at your dogs pace, don't rush the process, and make sure to keep the tips on this list in mind. Swimming for dogs is fun, exciting and provides great cardiovascular exercise. It's also great exercise for adult dogs that suffer from aches and joint pain, the water soothes the movements and makes swimming a pain free activity.