Pets in the Pool

A swimming pool is fun for the whole family. This can include your dog. Many dogs enjoy the swimming pool as much their owners. Some dogs are nervous around water at first, but with patient training, many dogs can learn to love swimming.

If a dog isn’t used to the water, make sure you watch the animal carefully. You can purchase a life vest for your dog to help it adjust to the water. When a dog enters the water the first few times, it may panic. A person should be nearby in case this happens. Otherwise, the dog could drown. Introduce your dog to the water gradually. Hold your dog comfortably so that it feels safe when entering the water. Have a life raft handy in case the dog gets upset. If it panics, it may try to climb on you. If you have a large dog, you could end up in a dangerous situation for both. Never throw the animal in the water. Let the dog play for a while and then help it exit the water safely. This will reassure the dog.

Dog swimmingTrain your dog to behave around the swimming pool. The dog should “stay” on command near the swimming pool and should only enter upon command. Otherwise, the dog may get into the pool when no one is around and have an accident. Dogs don’t have as much depth perception as humans, so they may not understand how deep the swimming pool is. If you cover the pool, the dog may try to walk on it and can fall in. This is why it’s important to train the dog to stay away from the pool unless it has permission to come closer.

Dogs automatically start paddling when they get in the water. However, they tend to paddle with their front paws which can become exhausting quickly. Help the dog use its rear legs when paddling. You can do this by support the animal’s rear end as it swims. You may have to practice regularly to help the dog learn to paddle with its rear legs. Don’t let the dog overexert itself. You can tell a dog is getting tired if its hind legs start to sink. Take a break so the dog can rest and get back in the swimming pool later.

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