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If you’re a dog owner, it may no longer surprise you that your pet will not hesitate before dunking their head even in the dirtiest puddle. However, they’ll have a hard time taking a bath to clean that muck off. There’s no sure way to understand why dogs don’t seem to like the activity but surprisingly, you’ll find them much more willing to swim instead of taking a bath.
When it comes to swimming, you cannot just decide one day to take your pet and expect everything to play along. There are many factors to consider ahead of time. What breed do you have? Is your dog physically fit enough to swim? What places can you take them to? How can you introduce them to the pool?
Let’s look at some other factors you need to think about before heading to the pool with your furry friend.
Some dogs like Portuguese water dogs and Labrador Retrievers have what it takes when it comes to swimming. They don’t just have fun while pursuing the activity but are also able to shed some pounds by engaging in a great workout.
However, some dog breeds aren’t meant for it because their bodies are too fragile to handle swimming. It could be due to several reasons, like having a large head, thick fur, or short muzzles.
While ideally, you should take your dog to a place with slow and clean water, sometimes it’s alright to let them take a dip in a river or a natural stream. However, make sure not to take them to the sea if it’s their very first time swimming. This is because currents and tides are never predictable enough to deem completely safe for your pet.
Some dogs won’t mind jumping straight into the water, but others might take a good amount of time to get inside completely. It’s alright for your dog to become familiar with the activity in their way.
You can, however, assist them in the process by introducing them to the water slowly. Start by dipping their paws first and notice their reaction. Let them stay on a floating object for some days before they become comfortable enough to be on their own.
You should be prepared to deal with any reaction that comes your way. It’s natural for your dog to feel scared before pursuing a new activity, even if their pool isn’t deep enough for any incident to occur. The best way to get them to feel more comfortable is by bringing their favorite toys along. Play a little fetch to help them warm up. You can also try throwing it into the pool to let your dog go and retrieve it.
If you have made your mind up and want your dog to be exposed to the activity, after all, start from home. Since being at home is more comfortable than being exposed to a brand new place, your dogs may have it easy when they get into a pool at home.
There are many options you can explore in this regard. Some pools made for kids are mobile enough for you to carry anywhere. Get one and fill it with some water. You may think that it’s not any different than getting your dog inside a tub, but you’re mistaken. You can take a mobile swimming pool anywhere. You can place it in the garden or a room at your convenience, but it will definitely be different than getting into a tub.
A doggy swimming pool is one of the best and safest ways to get your pooch familiar with the activity. The biggest reason it’s better than your regular swimming pool facilities is that it has all the equipment and staff to deal with your dog.
These facilities are also safer because they consist of carefully designed entry and exit ramps along with the right professionals at hand. However, you will have to pay for all the amenities that come with the place.
If your dog can swim everywhere else, it can also swim in coastal waters, but it’s generally not recommended due to many reasons. First of all, there’s always the risk of deep waters, strong currents, and high tides. Secondly, even if all possible threats can be eliminated somehow, not every beach will allow your dog. On the other hand, even if a beach does allow dogs, there could be other regulations such as not allowing them in the water.
Regardless, taking them to a place like a beach means you should be wary of many factors such as the weather, visibility, the strength of tides and currents, rules and regulations, and most of all, cleanliness.
Swimming is not only a great way to enjoy leisure time but is also one of the best exercises for your dog. A great thing about it is that it won’t repel your pet the way organized exercises do because swimming doesn’t seem like a workout anyway. Introducing your dog to the activity is still a great way to help them seek pleasure in stuff other than running and fetching.
While swimming is a widely pursued activity across the world, you should be extra careful when it comes to dogs. Never go easy with assessing the dangers involved because sometimes, even when your dog is comfortable doing it, there’s no guarantee that it will be 100% safe for them.
Therefore, take all the measures before you’re completely certain that your dog is fit to swim. Speak to your veterinarian and assess the pros and cons of exposing your pet to the activity because keeping them safe is better than putting them at unnecessary risk. If you do end up being successful at your attempt to make them swim, supervise them closely at all times.