Doggie paddling. A term so common we even use it to describe some swimming by humans. Some dogs are great natural swimmers and relish time in the water, but others, well, not so much. Although many dogs can swim a bit and there are always exceptions to every rule, some breeds are more likely than others to enjoy a dip in the pool.
Typical Breeds That Have Trouble in Water
All dogs will naturally begin to paddle when in water, but that doesn’t mean they can keep themselves afloat. Some dogs lack the physical anatomy to keep themselves above water, and others with extra thick or heavy fur also have issues. Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boxers, Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are among the breeds who have more difficulty than others. Again, there are always exceptions, but the anatomy of these breeds tend to give them a harder time. Whether it’s shorter legs or the flatness of the face, these breeds have to work much harder than others to stay afloat.
No matter your dog’s breed, it’s always best to test them in water with you close enough to scoop them into your loving arms to avoid accidents until you know of your dog’s water skills. Even a little scare for them can cause unnecessary trauma that could scare them away from all water – including bath time.
If you find out your dog isn’t a great swimmer but you do have a pool in your backyard, it’s best to invest in a life jacket. If your furbaby sees you in the pool having fun, he or she might jump in to be a part of the fun. RUFFWEAR’s life vests are highly rated and come in a variety of sizes. They help your dog stay upright, and have a sturdy handle so you can pull them out of water at the first sign of danger.
Other Pool/Fresh Water Swimming Issues To Watch Out For
Most dogs will look at any form of water, whether it’s a pool, lake or the ocean, as a giant water bowl. It’s important to have plenty of fresh water around when swimming, and encourage your dog to drink from their water bowl. Salt water isn’t good for humans or dogs to drink, and in pools, there’s another issue. According to Chief Veterinary Officer of American Kennel Club, Dr. Jerry Klein, “As far as chlorine: the amount in a pool is negligible, but the toxic concerns are with dogs getting into chlorine tablets, so they should be put in a safe location where a dog cannot ingest them.” And even if your dog could win a swimming medal in the Olympics, never let them swim unattended.
It’s always best to rinse off your dog after a swim. The salt or chlorine from the swimming water can irritate some dogs’ skin. You don’t have to give them a full bath with shampoo unless you have concerns the water may be contaminated. Go with your instincts. If your skin is irritated after a swim, follow up with a full bath for your dogs, too.
At Dog Day, Every Day!, we offer a full dog spa with baths, blueberry facials and Shed-Less treatments to care for your dog and his skin. Also, we charge by the pound for our spa services to help save you money. Check out our website or call us at 513-860-DOGS for details. And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more great tips!