Swimming is a wonderful activity for dogs. It is great exercise and better on their joints than running. The majority of dogs can swim, and many of them enjoy it. But, dogs should be introduced to the water in a safe, fun way.
Never throw your dog into the water. This will could cause them to fear the water instead of enjoy it.
Start in shallow water and make it fun. Get in the water with your dog. Use treats and toys to encourage them to move around. Let them explore, but always keep them within reach in case they need your help.
Another way to introduce your dog to the water is to go with another dog they get along with who enjoys the water. Dogs will often follow one another around in the water and become comfortable that way.
If your dog begins to paddle with their front legs, but seems to forget they have back legs, assist them by lifting their back legs and helping them float. They should quickly catch on and will begin using both sets of legs.
Swimming is great exercise, but don’t let your dog overdue it. They are probably using muscles they don’t use often and may tire easily.
If you are swimming in rivers or oceans be careful of strong tides and currents – they can be hazardous even to the best swimmers.
Never leave your dog unattended. No matter how skilled they are at swimming you should always be ready to help them out of the water if needed.
Life jackets for dogs are a great way to help dogs swim and stay safe in the water. Carver Lake offers a wide selection of sizes here at the clinic.
Swimming can be a great summer activity – but make sure to approach it in a safe comfortable way that will teach your dog to enjoy the water.