It’s summer so cooling off in the pool or nearby lakes is a given for us. Some dogs love to catch a ball, and dive in the pool along with their owners! Some people even bring their pups on boats, but a misconception is that any dog can be thrown in the water to swim immediately.
Can All Dogs Swim?
The truth is, dogs do naturally begin to paddle when they are in a body of water, but that doesn’t mean they can stay afloat for any certain length of time, that they like swimming, or can do so safely. Much like children, dogs must always be watched when swimming, to be sure they don’t tire out or need assistance. For first time swimmers, let dogs try paddling in a contained area you can handle like your own swimming pool or a even kiddie pool for smaller dogs.
Safety on the Open Water
Some dogs do take naturally to adventures like boating and the high seas, but they should wear a life preserver at ALL TIMES! This will make your dog easier to spot and grab if he jumps or falls in. However, not all breeds or personality types are meant for this sort of outing.
Weight and Coat Play a Factor
Your dog will weigh more in the water than he/she does on land, especially if they have a heavy fur or coat weighing them down. Be sure you have enough support around you to help your dog if it needs guidance out of the water.
Don’t Force It and Keep Them Close
Not all dogs like the water, or want to go swimming, so it is best not to force it. In a panic, a bad swimmer will become even worse. Always stay near your dog as they do not know to tread water or make their way to the steps and will simply tire out from paddling hard.