Teaching Your Dog to Swim in Pool the Fun and Safe Way

Do you want your dog to join you at the pool this summer? This is a great way to beat the heat and spend more time together! We have tips on how to get your dog into the pool safely.

Is it worth introducing the dog to the pool?

Okay, initial things initial: is it okay to let a dog swim in your pool? The short answer is yes, if you are careful.

Before doing anything, ask yourself if your dog wants to be in the water. Some dogs like water from the very starting, jumping headinitial into any body of water they see. Others are a little more reserved. Stocky dogs with short legs can find it difficult to stay afloat, and some dogs are simply too scared to play in the water. A life jacket and good treats are a great incentive for them to swim, but be aware of their natural desire and ability to be in the water before you start swimming.

Then think about how your dog could affect your pool. As much as we love our dogs, the simple truth is that they are much dirtier than (most) people! They bring fur, dirty paws and possible bacteria into the pool. Fact: A single dog can add as much stress to your pool filter as three people. You will have to be very attentive when cleaning the pool if your puppies swim regularly! You should also cut and file all long nails, as they can scratch the plastic or vinyl lining of the pool and even other swimmers during a vigorous dog stroke.

If you’re ready to spend more time with a pool skimmer and your dog is ready to dip his toes in the water, it’s time to teach him to swim!

How to teach a dog to swim in the pool

Start small. The goal is to make your dog comfortable in the shallowest part of your pool, which is usually the highest step of the ladder. Sit down with them and have fun seducing them with treats, toys and compliments. Teach them how to get in and out of the pool and repeat the process several times so that they know where the exit is and they can get out whenever they want.

One step at a time, literally. Once your dog is comfortable on the top step, invite him to take the next step, the next step, etc. If you have a small or short-legged dog that cannot reach the bottom after one or two steps, you can hold him in your arms and let him swim comfortably while you move through the water.

Imagine a dog paddling. When your dog reaches the limit of the depth of his paws, invite him to go a little further, which means that he must swim. Now is the perfect time to include a dog life jacket in the equation if your dog can use a little more buoyancy. Stay close to your dog to be ready to support him under the chest and belly while he learns to paddle. If he forgets to use his hind legs, pat him lightly to remind him.

Show them all the exits from the pool. As soon as they learn to paddle comfortably, it’s time to teach them to get out. Stay close to them in the water and ask your partner to call them until he is at the bottom. Repeat this process several times on different days, when they enter the pool from different places and at all exits so that they always have an emergency exit.

Practice, practice, practice! Continue to spend time in the pool in short sessions, repeat the workouts you have already done, and add new elements as they master swimming. Allow them to swim long distances or introduce them to aquatic wellness games. They’re going to slap you in the pool soon!

Water Safety Tips for Dogs

  • Never leave your dog unattended in the water.
  • Keep the pool closed or locked so that your dog cannot walk around unattended.
  • Life jackets for dogs can be a lifesaver for poor swimmers and a useful safety device for strong swimmers.
  • Make sure that the exits from the pool are always free of obstacles, such as floats in the pool.
  • Dogs can swim safely in chlorine pools, but you should wash the dog after bathing him in the pool with clean water to avoid irritation to his skin and coat.
  • Dogs can also swim in saltwater pools, and rinsing after bathing will help keep their fur soft.
  • Dogs drink water from the pool, and sometimes a lot! Low levels of chlorine cannot kill dogs if they drink it with water, but too much water in the pool can cause stomach upset and serious complications.
  • Always serve fresh water by the pool so that they have a place where they can drink a glass of salt water or water that does not contain chemicals.
  • Low doses of pool chemicals diluted in water are safe for dogs, but pool chemicals should always be stored safely and away from prying noses.

Making your dog comfortable and happy in the pool is an interesting summer activity! Soon you will have a companion for every day you visit the backyard pool and at every dog-friendly pool you meet during your travels. A quick search for “dog pool next to me” might just provide you with a weekend excursion. Next weekend, we invite you in advance.

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