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There are few things that can compare to cooling off in your own
swimmer cooling hole with your canine companion. If you live near
a lake that is dog friendly, or if you have a pool of your own in
your backyard, you should definitely encourage your dog to swim.
Not only would it be a great exercise for him, it would also help
him cool off to beat the summer heat. However, you want to teach
Fido some basic swimming lessons, especially if he has never
ventured out into the water before.Safety tipsDo not assume that
all dogs are natural swimmers. Some of the breeds, like the
bulldog, can’t swim and will sink right to the floor of the pool
if you toss them in without a floatation device to hold them
above the surface of the water. Dogs that have short legs or are
lightweight must be fitted with their own jacket or life vest.
Bear in mind that too much activity and noise can be distracting.
Start practicing in an area that is relatively quiet and make
sure that your dog is leashed at all times. You should not take
off the leash until your dog is able to swim without any
assistance. Never make the mistake of leaving your dog unattended
when he is in the water.
Start out slow
When your dog is just starting out, it is best if you begin in a
shallow area where you can walk beside him as he learns to swim.
Put on the floatation vest, attach the leash and let him get used
to having wet feet.If Fido is reluctant, get his favorite toy or
training treats to coax him further. Make sure that the tone of
voice you use is positive and you offer him a lot of verbal
praise when he starts out. Gradually introduce him into deeper
waters till he gets used to paddling to stay afloat. If he needs
extra support, you can place an arm under his belly. This will
give him the incentive to paddle his rear legs along with his
front legs.Your dog must learn to use both pairs of legs to swim,
or else he will tire easily. Keep supporting him till he’s
completely comfortable and uses all of his four limbs. If he
seems to be panicking at any point, back him up into shallow
waters and let him calm down before he tries again.Once the
lesson is over, it is time for you to get your dog out of the
boat or pool. Take your time to show him the safe and proper way
to exit the pool or boat so that he can find his own way out the
next time. Make sure he gets a final rinse with fresh water to
get rid of the algae and residual chemicals that might be
clinging to his hair-coat.
How Swimming and Hydrotherapy Can Benefit your Dog?
Swimming is a great way to cool off and get a core body workout,
not just for humans but also for dogs. Whether you want to ease
your dog’s arthritic pain, keep your dog in shape or get him up
and running again after a major surgery, getting him in the water
is the best option.
What are the advantages of
There are a number of reasons why pet owners consider taking
their dogs to aquatic therapy, whether they decided to do it
themselves or their pet’s vet recommended it. From the point of
view of preventative care, hydrotherapy is excellent for fitness
and is also the best form of aerobic workout your dog can get.
Its impact on joints and bones is minimal and it is a great way
to keep your dog healthy and in shape.Post-surgical recovery is
also one reason why dogs are commonly taken to aquatic therapy,
especially for conditions like an ACL tear. Arthritic dogs get to
work out their joints and maintain their muscle mass with this
therapy. It will also help them move around comfortably and
minimize the discomfort they feel.When dogs aren’t moving, they
can lose a lot of muscle in a period of just six weeks. The best
part about swimming is your dog gets to give his muscles a
workout without bearing any weights. The buoyancy and resistance
that water offers makes it a great form of exercise for pets
suffering from arthritic pain and for pets recovering from an
injury. Since water is denser than air, your dog’s movement
through water and the resistance to the movement helps give a
good workout to the muscles. Your dog will have to exercise for a
lesser amount of time in water than he does on land.From
underwater treadmills to hydrotherapy pools where your dog can do
laps and fetch balls, there are a number of aquatic exercises
designed to give your dog a good workout.
What if your dog does not know
how to swim?
Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Many of them need to be
trained, just like people. Every swimming facility has a
different method for teaching the dogs to swim and making them
less afraid. As an owner, you need to make sure that your dog is
comfortable in the water. No matter what the training is, comfort
and safety is always the key. You should never force them if
they’re scared as it can cause an injury to the person, pet or
both. If the vet believes that swimming might benefit the pet,
but your dog seems anxious about getting into the water, then get
in touch with a good animal behaviorist.