If you are like us, you are big advocates of dogs that swim. Why? Because swimming, is one of the best physical exercises available for dogs as it cools them down during hot weathers and this keep them clean, while reducing the risk of parasites. This, is also very good for their health, especially for the treatment of dysplasia.
The vast majority of dogs will learn to swim and enjoy the exercise. Some will take longer than others. And there are even some who, despite their best efforts, will never like the water. But for many, it will become one of their favorite activities.
But let’s not forget that the ultimate goal is to have fun and make sure your dog has a good time. Whether this is your first time taking your dog swimming or you want to build his confidence, today, we are going to bring you tips on how to make your dog feel safer in the water. Sounds interesting? Read on!
How Do You Make Your Dog Feel Safe in the Water?
If your goal is to get your furry pet to enjoy a refreshing swim this summer, you need to be clear on the following:
Leadership– if you’re not willing to get wet, don’t expect your dog to be either. Your four-legged friend is looking to his owner for leadership. And, if you run away from the waves, he’ll understand that he needs to run away too. So put on your bathing suit and get into the water eagerly so that he can follow you.
Don’t Force Him– Don’t pull, push, drag or trick him into the water as this can cause fear and trauma. Always use positive training.
Easy Access– Avoid accidental entries into the water, whether slippery, full of rocks, or with a steep slope.
To make the experience more like a game, remember to bring a toy that can get wet and float.
Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Water
Before you go swimming, take your best friend into the shallows a few times and play with him so he learns to have fun splashing around. Once you’ve gotten used to playing in the water, you’re ready to take the next step.
So that your dog’s experience in the sea or pool is a success, we recommend that you follow the steps below:
1. Choose an appropriate day
A day when you feel like taking a swim is always much more productive than a gray, cold day. It is also important that it is not a day with very high temperatures. Dogs can also burn or suffer from heat stroke! A good recommendation is to pack a freezable toy in the refrigerator.
2. Find a safe place
Water without currents or waves, not excessively cold, with a gradual slope for the pet to walk in until it starts swimming, with an easy exit. On the other hand, if you are swimming in the pool, you can install a ramp that makes it easy to get in and out. (Dogs that feel trapped in the pool are prone to panic and not wanting to get back in the water.) Remember to dry him off well before going home!
3. Go with other water-loving dogs
Seeing his friends running and jumping in the water can help motivate him to not view it as a danger. The experience will be positively reinforced. There are many dogs that like to get wet, such as water dogs.
4. Bring rewards and toys
To encourage good behaviour, feel free to bring treats and toys.
5. Put on a life jacket
If you notice that he’s a little scared of the water, make sure he will be safe at all times and put a vest that will keep him afloat at all times. Most dogs that don’t need help will jump in and start swimming. Some need a little more patience, while others take up to a year to start feeling really comfortable in the water. Respect his learning curve.
Did you already try to bring your dog in the water? Tell us everything about the first experience.