Does every dog know how to swim? Some dogs seem to have a natural aptitude for swimming whilst others will do anything they can to stay away from the water. There’s not much to say whether your dog will end up being a good swimmer, but taller dogs tend to have a natural advantage when it comes to gliding through the water. Heavier set dogs probably won’t sink but they might struggle to build up much momentum and may tire more quickly.
Whatever breed you have, taking a dip doesn’t have to mean swimming. Dogs often like to splash around and chase in shallow water just as much as swim.
Taking a dip...
Just like we enjoy a dip in the pool to cool off, so do our dogs. With the hot weather, it can be worth trying to find a walk which follows a river or stream, winds round a lake or takes in a dog friendly beach if you’re lucky enough to live by the coast.
If it’s not easy to find a walk near you which includes a chance for a paddle, you could always set up your own water park at home! We’re not suggesting you dig a swimming pool for your dog, nor do we encourage them to jump in the garden pond, but a plastic paddling pool, large shallow storage container or even a bucket filled with water can give dogs a fun way to cool off.
Watching your dog run around in the spray from a sprinkler can provide endless entertainment too, though powerful jets of water will often scare them away.
Swimming, paddling and splashing around is great fun for us and our dogs. Making sure both you and your dog are safe in the water is important though. Dogs desperate for a dip may not pay attention to fast currents or big waves and they can quickly get out of their depth.
Keep an eye out for warnings alerting you to dangers in the water as even the strongest swimmers can get into difficulty.
After a swim...
Dogs can also get cold after a swim, especially if the wind picks up or the sun goes in so watch out for shivering dogs and dry them off with a towel if they start to get chilly.
Dogs may also end up with water in their ears, which can lead to irritation and infection in some cases. If you see excessive ear shaking, scratching, redness or discharge then you should seek veterinary advice.
Whilst not every dog is a champion swimmer, most will find there’s fun to be had in the water. Whether your dog has a favourite swimming spot on a walk or a paddling pool in the garden, they'll should enjoy cooling off during the Summer!