As the weather heats up, nothing sounds as good as spending a hot afternoon swimming in the pool with your furry friend. However, before you can play in the waves together, you first have to get your puppy swimming strong. Here are some tips to help teach your dog to swim this summer and have plenty of fun doing so.
Teach Your Dog to Swim by Starting Small
It can be tempting just to throw your dog in the deep end and let their instincts take over, but that method is more likely to traumatize your pooch than teach them to swim. Doggy-sized lifejackets are available at both pet stores and online and are a great way to introduce your pup to water in a controlled environment. Before swimming, allow your dog to get used to the life jacket on dry land, especially if they aren’t used to wearing a harness. Be sure to Purchase one with handles on the back so you can keep your precious pooch within reach.
Choose the right environment.
This is not the time to drag your dog to a large pool party or public dog-friendly beach. Dogs can often feel vulnerable while they are in the water because most of their energy is going into keeping themselves afloat. Having unfamiliar people or animals crowding around them and making noise can be super stressful, and your dog may react aggressively in response. Keep everyone safe by choosing a controlled environment to practice swimming, like an unoccupied pool or secluded lake. you can even teach small dogs the basics in inflatable pools so long as the water is deep enough.
Positive Reinforcement is King When You Teach Your Dog to Swim
Bring plenty of treats, and remember to be patient. Start by getting their toes wet, and if they react well, take them incrementally deeper. If you sense your dog is becoming overwhelmed or overtired, don’t push it. Give them a 15-minute break to recuperate before trying again. Allowing your dog to learn at their own pace is crucial. It may take multiple days to get your dog swimming comfortably, but that’s perfectly normal. Remember, If you push them into a bad experience, they will be all the more reticent to try it again, so pay attention to your dog’s behavior. And if they aren’t feeling up to it, try another time. Go slow, take plenty of breaks, and don’t forget to hydrate!
When You Teach Your Dog to Swim, Remember to Have Fun!
Your dog picks up on your mood, so if you’re feeling stressed, they’ll probably start to panic as well. If you treat the swimming lessons like a game rather than a chore, then your dog will come to see it the same way. Take the time to set up a comfortable and happy environment for you both and your precious pup will be swimming in no time!
When it comes to dog breeds, there are some breeds that simply love it. Find out which five dog breeds are crazy about swimming here!