After watching movies and maybe your friend’s dogs, you might be under the impression that all dogs are born with the swimming gene, but that’s not the case. Certain breeds like boxers, dachshunds and bulldogs don’t do well in the water at all, but even if you have a breed without physical restrictions, swimming just might not be their forte.
Swimming in pools for dogs might be a good place to teach them. They will be forced to paddle (with maybe some treats/toys for incentive) with you being able to supervise while standing in the water. Sometimes putting your hand under their bellies gives them the incentive to paddle all four of their legs instead of just their front ones. Patience is always key – just like when you’re training them to do any other activity they will eventually enjoy.
Always keep heatstroke in mind during this hot summer. Keep your dog inside during the hottest part of the day and if Fido decides that water isn’t his thing, make sure he has limitless access to water and shade while you enjoy your pool time. Also, dipping his belly into fresh water can help keep him cool while you bring him outside with the family.
Whether bringing them to the beach or the pool, however, keep in mind that their skin is like ours. They can develop rashes and itch and need to have that chlorinated water or beach water rinsed off them as soon as they’re done. Never leave your dog unattended in the water – even for a minute. A life vest is recommended until you are 100% sure that they can swim on their own.