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Do All Dogs Know How to Swim?

July 24, 2018

No, not all breeds of dogs can swim. Going for a summer splash with your dog can be a fun activity but pools and larger bodies of water can put your pet at risk for injuries. Although most canines come equipped with the basic "dog paddle", not all breeds are natural swimmers. In fact, breeds like the bulldog struggle to swim and could drown if tossed into the water unexpectedly. So, check online for bred specifics as to the dogs that can't swim. Nonetheless, you shouldn't leave your best friend unattended around water until your pet's abilities are well proven. Moreover, pet flotation devices should be used on all pets that will coming aboard for any offshore boating or fishing.

Preparing for Pet Swimming Lessons

It is important to pick a quiet, less crowded area of lake or pool to start your swim lessons. First and foremost, do not toss your pet into the water. This serves no positive purpose and could frighten your best friend to the point that they never want to go near the water again. By starting in shallow waters, you will be able to walk alongside your pet. In addition to using a flotation device in the beginning, the leash should not come off until the dog is able to swim on his or her own and consistently return, when you call them back to shore. If your pet is curious but reluctant to join in the fun, try coaxing them with toys or treats.

Be Patient with Your Pet

You don't want your best friend swimming disproportionately with his or her front legs. That will cause them to fatigue too quickly. Using a flotation device will encourage them to develop a balanced stroke using all four paws. Plus, you can provide underbelly support when they first start paddling to stay afloat. Should your pet panic or become anxious in the water, return them to shore and allow them calm down before continuing. Once the lesson is done for the day, don't forget a final rinse with fresh water to remove pool chemicals or other unwanted residues. With you help, your best friend will most likely enjoy a lifetime of fun swimming experiences.

Have fun with your pets this summer and call on the caring veterinarians at PrimeVET Animal Hospital for all your needs.

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