You won’t have to look far and wide to find a dog who loves swimming. Many dogs will swim every chance they get! Swimming is great exercise, especially in summer heat, when walking and running maybe more risky.
There is a danger, though. Even strong swimmers can get into trouble. Here are some tips for dog swimming safety:
- Only access to pools, creeks, lakes, etc. when supervised. Don’t let your dog wander off and swim alone.
- Teach your dog how to get out of the pool. Some dogs may not understand that steps are the way out of the pool and tire themselves trying to climb out. Train your dog to go to the steps to get out.
- Train your dog to come. It should obey even when swimming. In a pinch, have another retrieving toy available to distract and lure a dog away from danger and toward land.
- Make sure natural swimming areas are safe. A place that was safe in the past may not be now. Be aware of changes, possible underwater dangers, the condition of the water, currents and tides, etc.
- Beware of heat and bring drinking water. Even in the water, a dog can become hot while exercising, and risk heat stroke. Make sure there is drinking water for your dog.
- Watch for signs of exhaustion. A dog may quickly become tired and have difficulty swimming, particularly if it is very young or old. Keep them close to shore.
With these tips in mind, you and your dog are ready to swim!