It’s easy to think that dogs are born with a natural ability to swim, but, truth is – they don’t! They can, however, do puppy paddling, which is their common instinct in an off chance that they fall in the water. Make no mistake, this isn’t equivalent to their ability to swim. The reason why all canines should undergo proper and adequate water safety training.

It’s crucial that training must be done where your dogs are most comfortable. Hence, it’s always a good idea to first do it on the ground, to establish basic cooperation and obedience. Your pet’s ability to effectively follow instructions must be solid while still on the ground before administering the training in the pool or in any other unfamiliar location.

Safety tips

Once you’ve acquainted your dog in the water, follow these tips to ensure they get the most of this fun activity.

Certain breeds have a better chance in water than others, so you must know your dog’s kind. Breeds with short noses, including pugs, English bulldogs, and Boston terriers, aren’t suited for swimming and are better off on dry land.

Veer away from anything that may cause your dog a traumatic experience. It’s never a good idea to throw them into the pool. It’s best that you join them in the water to make them feel more secure and comfortable.

Dogs, like babies, must never be left unattended around water. Putting a fence around your pool, if you have one at home, makes for a proper safety measure.

If you’re using a pool for your training, demonstrate to your dog how to use the stairs to get into and out of the water. Make them realize that this is the easiest way to exit from the water. This will help eliminate panic in case they accidentally fell.

Be mindful of your dog’s well-being. Take breaks in between since swimming can be very tiring. When you notice your dog feeling exhausted, give him the rest that he needs to eliminate the possibility of drowning.

Take the initiative to discern and make that decision for your dog if he’s done for the day.

And while you’re at it, learn CPR classes yourself, and make sure to have a doggie life vest within reach for when emergencies arise.

Important reminders

Water may be safe for swimming, but it doesn’t mean it’s safe for drinking. These bodies of water often get contaminated with parasites, harmful chemicals, chlorine, and salt water. All these are not safe for dogs intake, so, always bring a bottle of fresh water to keep him hydrated at all times.

While water is certainly a great source of fun and makes for an awesome way to bond, but so is your dog’s health. Thoroughly rinsing off swimming water off your dog helps eliminate traces of chlorine or salt.

Consider a mild soap or shampoo to do just that. Doing this helps you maintain your dog’s healthy and balanced skin.

Lastly, dry their ears to keep infections at bay.

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