Many people who enjoy swimming love to bring their dogs along for the fun. While it’s generally believed that all dogs are natural swimmers, this isn’t always the case. That’s why veterinarians recommend taking the following steps to get your dog acclimated to the water.
How to Introduce Your Dog to the Water
For the best results, try introducing your dog to water while they’re still young. You can do so by setting up a kiddie pool at your home, then gradually moving up to deeper bodies of water as your dog’s swimming ability improves. Keep in mind that some breeds, such as golden retrievers, are more enthusiastic about swimming than others.
Walk toward the water and wait to see if your dog follows along. If they’re reluctant, try attaching a leash and gently leading them to the water’s edge. Don’t force your dog if they’re hesitant since that will only make them less likely to enjoy swimming. As they become more comfortable in the water, you can increase the distance away from the shore or pool ledge.
Safety Tips to Help Your Dog While Swimming
If you’re unsure about your dog’s ability and plan on swimming in a river or ocean, use a flotation device. Ask your veterinarian about finding a vest suited to your dog’s size and breed, as this makes a huge difference in terms of protection.
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, never leave them on their own, especially in a body of water where a strong current could overwhelm them. Also, discourage your dog from drinking the water since too much could upset their stomach.
The veterinarians at Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital encourage dog owners to partake in fun activities with their pets. To help pets stay healthy, they provide a range of services, including wellness exams, surgical procedures, pet boarding, dental care, diagnostic testing, and dermatology. If your pet experiences an urgent health issue, they also offer emergency services after hours. Schedule an appointment with a veterinarian in Waipahu, HI, today by calling (808) 671-7387, or visit the website for more information on their services.