Physical Fitness: Dog Swimming Lessons In 5 Easy Steps

Physical Fitness: Dog Swimming Lessons In 5 Easy Steps

Physical Fitness: Dog Swimming Lessons In 5 Easy Steps

Physical Fitness: Dog Swimming Lessons In 5 Easy Steps

Swimming is a nice and comforting way to cool off after a sunny day. But it is much more fun and exciting when it is with your furry friend. So when next you’re going to take a swim, make sure your dog paws along. I mean why is he called man’s best friend? Dogs are more than pets but rather companions, so should be treated as such. Dog swimming lessons are always entertaining. It’s a good way to inspire a stronger bond with your furry friend.

Mind you, dogs are not natural swimmers and lovers of water (some dog breeds are good swimmers and are very comfortable with being around water while others are not). But in this article, with a step-by-step approach, your furry friend will be on their way to becoming the next Michael Phelps in no time! 

Read Also: Pets And How To Live Healthily Around Them

Consult With Your Vet Before Getting Your Dog Close To A Pool 

Consult With Your Vet Before Getting Your Dog Close To A Pool 

It is not part of the steps but rather a vital piece of information for pet owners thinking of teaching their furry friend to swim. Before embarking on dog swimming lessons, seek the advice of a vet. Swimming requires a lot of energy. So you would want to ensure your dog is medically and physically fit, meeting the demands of the exercise. If your dog is in the clear, then you and your furry friend can dive right in. 

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5 Steps On How To Teach Your Dog To Swim 

In a particular order of preference, here are 5 easy steps that will help you teach your dog to swim

1. Safety Is Essential In Dog Swimming Lessons

Safety Is Essential In Dog Swimming Lessons

Ensuring the safety of your dog is very much recommended. Make provisions for a dog lifejacket, and if possible, a dog floatation device (this depends on your pocket). Also, make sure the pool is not a deep one. How to check this is to see if your pup’s paw touches the bottom of the pool. Dogs are not natural swimmers, so water safety is important. Are there visible entry and exit points in the swimming pool? Are there lifebuoys? Is the temperature of the pool ideal? As it shouldn’t be too cold or too warm. Ideally, it should be between the range of 50°F to 120°F at the most. All these need to be green on the checklist. 

2. Hydrate Your Furry Friend

The pool contains some amount of chemicals that are deemed harmful to your dog for consumption. And to reduce the chances of your dog drinking from the pool, hydration is key! Make sure your dog drinks enough water before getting into the pool to reduce the possibility of this happening. You should note that hydrating your dog promotes healthy fitness. Another important thing to do before your dog gets into the pool is to cut down on the food being fed. Swimming on a full belly for your dog is not a good idea. 

3. Slowly But Surely

Slowly But Surely

Introducing new habits or routines to your dog can be a possible trigger for stress, especially if the dog is young. Be patient with your pup. Start slowly. It could be a daunting challenge at first, but with time, your furry friend would come around. As its hooman, you have to appear confident as animals can smell fear or any form of negative emotion. Stay calm and show your dog the ropes. 

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Begin by introducing your dog to the pool, simply taking your dog in and out is a good way to start. But watch how your dog reacts on first contact. Be observant and quick to act should anything go wrong. Do this for the first time and reward your furry friend with a treat for a job well done. Now you can proceed to the next stage. 

4. Doggy Paddle 

Doggy Paddle 

This is where you show maximum support to your dog as a teacher would a pupil. Teach your dog to paddle. It’s the same principle that works for humans that also works when it comes to dogs–Staying float. You’ll have to teach your dog to stay floating by trying to paddle. You can relieve the pressure off the forelimbs by holding on to it, while your dog paddles using the hindlimb. 

At this point, try not to blink. If you notice any sign of discomfort, take your dog out of the pool for a rest. You can always restart this stage when your dog is well-rested and ready to continue. Remember, by providing support, your dog feels an excellent level of confidence and is happy to swim. You can withdraw support when you see your dog has improved the paddling motion. 

5. Toys Are Great For Dog Swimming Lessons

Toys Are Great For Dog Swimming Lessons

Getting toys in the training environment is a great way to teach your dog to swim. Toys are fun and make them feel at ease. Go for bright and colorful toys that can float in water. If your dog is afraid, seeing toys floating will act as a distraction for your furry friend. Swimming should be fun and your pet dog should not see it as a burdensome activity.

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And it’s a wrap! Teach your dog to swim today. Look for fun and entertaining ways to get your dog to exercise. As they say, variety is the spice of life. 

 

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