The dog days of summer when the heat index is climbing is a perfect time to take a dip in the pool. For dog owners, it’s also the ideal time to introduce your furry friend to the wonderful world of swimming. Many dogs typically love being in the water. However, contrary to popular opinion, not all dogs are natural born swimmers.
For some dogs, it may take a bit of gentle coaxing and even some doggy swimming lessons to help them feel completely comfortable going for a swim. Other dogs may not want to venture into the pool at all. Another important thing to keep in mind is that just like children, dogs should always be supervised while in the water.
In this article series, we’ll be taking a look at some helpful pointers for making sure your dog enjoys a safe, fun swimming season this year.
Rules for Taking Dogs in Public Pools
Though most of this article series will focus on dogs swimming at home and general dog safety tips around the pool, you may wonder if you can ever take your dog swimming at a public or shared private pool. The answer to this question will vary from place to place.
For example, if you have a friend or family member who lives in an apartment complex or condominium with a pool, check with the facility manager before you bring your dog over for a swim. If dogs are allowed to swim, be sure to bring a towel for them to dry off with and bring some fresh water and a drinking container for your dog to keep with your poolside items.
Find Out if your Dog’s Breed is Known for Enjoying the Water
There are certain breeds of dog that were specifically bred in order to take part in water sports. If you love to swim and you want a pet who will be just as willing as you are to take the plunge, you may want to look into getting one of these breeds as a pet. The American Kennel Club has compiled a list of breeds that normally love playing in the water. Popular breeds such as Labrador Retrievers and English Setters are among those that are likely to be avid swimmers.
There are, however, certain breeds that aren’t normally as enthusiastic about getting into the pool. If you have one of these dog breeds, you may want to rethink taking a dip in the pool with your pooch. According to a survey of veterinary professionals compiled by the website Vet Street, these ten breeds are some of the most water-shy of all dogs: Papillion, Chinese Crested, Pekingese, Greyhound, Pug, Shih Tzu, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Yorkshire Terrier, and, the most water-shy of all, the Chihuahua.
If your dog falls into this breed list, don’t be surprised if they don’t want to get in the water with you. If your dog breed isn’t found on either the water-loving or water-shy lists, ask your veterinary care professional or do some digging on reputable pet websites to find out if your dog’s breed usually likes to swim.
If not, rather than trying to force them into a situation where they’ll be miserable and uncomfortable, you can simply provide your dog with a safe, shady spot with plenty of water where they’ll be able to be supervised while you take a swim. Of course, make sure not to leave your dog outside in extremely hot temperatures. Dogs can get heat exhaustion and their skin is still susceptible to the effects of the sun’s Ultra Violet rays.
In our next article in this series, we’ll get into more detail explaining practical pool safety tips for dogs.
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