Health & Wellness
Swimming is an opportunity for dogs to cool off on a hot summer’s day and is great exercise, too. Veterinarian and pet health expert Dr. Aliya McCullough shares how to safely introduce your pup to water, so they can take on pools, lakes and beaches.
Before the swim training begins, check with your vet about any conditions that may interfere with your pup’s doggy paddling. Your dog’s breed, age (it’s generally safe to introduce your dog to the water between 12 to 16 weeks) and activity level may impact their swimming ability, too.
Always check with your dog’s vet before diving in, but here are some quick steps for when your pup is ready to get started:
However, there are some things you should never do when introducing your pup the pool:
Your pup made it into the pool, congratulations! Here are some tips to help them feel comfortable swimming:
Some dog breeds are naturally built for swimming, like retrievers, setters, spaniels, standard poodles, Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs, German Shepherds and Schipperkes.
However, dogs with short snouts, like pugs and bulldogs may struggle more. Dachshunds' short limbs can make swimming challenging, too.
If your dog resists getting into the water, don’t push it — their comfort is most important. You can always try other water activities, like playing fetch through a sprinkler.
Whether your pup is poolside, chilling by the lake or beach-bumming, these tips will help them feel comfortable swimming.
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