Swimming with Your Dog

If you have a swimming pool at home, you may wonder if your dog can go swimming with you. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs are natural swimmers and do not need to be taught. With that being said, there are several breeds which are physically unable to swim. These include Pugs, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, and Basset Hounds.

Cesar Milan says that swimming is one of the best physical exercises for a dog and as a bonus, it is also calming to their psyche. You need to help your dog build confidence around the pool. Take it slowly and be sure to give your dog a lot of praise along the way. You always want to make it a positive experience. The American Kennel Club says that getting your dog to swim can be as simple as throwing a toy into the swimming pool. However, you should be aware that your dog may find it difficult when it is time to get out of the pool. They need to be taught to use the steps to get out. This is one of the reasons you should always be near your dog when they are swimming.

Establish Boundaries

You don’t want your dog to think that anytime he is near the water that he can just jump in. Cesar Milan says this is why you should establish some boundaries for them. This involves creating a psychological boundary. You want to find a strategy that works for you and the dog. You can help him with his instinctual desire to be in the water by conducting water search and rescue activities with him. Above all, your dog must learn that he has to be invited to come into the pool. You can use the pool to reward your dog for good behavior.

Dogs and Chlorine

Some dogs think that a swimming pool is really a big bowl that they can drink water from. Logically, because of the water’s chlorine content this should be discouraged. The AKC says that the eyes, nose and ears of a dog are more sensitive than a human’s and therefore are more affected by chlorine exposure. Be sure to test your pool’s pH regularly to make sure that that it rests between 7.2 and 7.6.

Another option to sanitize your pool which may be safer than chlorine is bromine. Whatever type of chemical you use, be sure to rinse off your dog with the hose when he gets out of the swimming pool. If you don’t do this, their skin will become dry. It is also important to dry off your dog’s ears really well to make sure he doesn’t get an ear infection.

Pool Cleanliness

Be aware that if you are swimming with your dog, he is going to shed a lot of hair. A lot of the hair won’t be caught by a skimmer. The dog’s fur gets caught in the pool equipment which means the pool may need to be serviced more frequently. A large part of it will end up in the filter and the lint pot. If your dog is going to be swimming regularly, it is a good idea to keep their coat trimmed short and brush them on a regular basis.

Keeping all of these things in mind, have a great summer swimming with your dog.