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Home Journal Dog Owner Guides | Swimming with your dog

Whilst not all dogs are fantastic swimmers, your canine may love being in the water. If this is the case, it’s essential to provide a safe place for them to swim. This includes putting them in shallow water if their build and body is limiting them from being a good swimmer

Dogs with short legs, muzzle or a heavy chest may find the effort of swimming really hard work. Even some dogs that are built for swimming just won’t enjoy going out of their depth.

When introducing your dog to the water, do it gradually and slowly so they feel comfortable and won’t panic. Never toss them into the water. Dogs can tire easily, so don’t keep them in the water for too long, especially if they’re a puppy or older dog.

If your dog has a short muzzle, legs or a heavy chest, consider getting them to wear a lifejacket before they head out for a swim. This will help to support their neck, allowing them to breathe without accidentally dipping their head under water. A lifejacket will also help you to support your dog if you’re swimming with them in the water.

Before you let your dog loose in the water, take a moment to assess how safe it looks. Crucially, don’t let your dog in the water unless you are completely certain they can easily get back on land. If you wouldn’t enter the water yourself, don’t put your dog at risk, either. Once your dog is in the water, supervise them at all times.

Always remember to bring a supply of fresh water with you when your dog goes swimming, so it won’t be tempted to drink harmful water sources, and to ensure it stays hydrated. If a dog drinks too much salt water from the sea this can trigger diarrhoea, vomiting and even dehydration.

Remember if the weather is really hot don't over exert your dog (ie throwing balls for them fetch), as this can cause them to over heat. Instead just let them cool themselves down with a paddle.

Finally, wherever your dog's been for a swim, it's a good idea to give them a good wash once you get home. This will help clean their fur of anything they might have picked up in the water.


Dog Owner Guides | Swimming with your dog