Swimming is therapeutic, and an excellent exercise for dogs just as it is for humans, yet many dog owners prefer running and walking to swimming for their dogs. Even though swimming for dogs is yet to catch up with many dog owners, it comes with numerous benefits.
Swimming helps keep the dogs in great shape, and it is especially advantageous for dogs healing from injuries. Walking a dog with an injury is not as easy as you would wish it to be, as you have to wait until it heals completely.
However, you can introduce a dog recovering from swimming injuries, as the exercise does not strain the muscles as much as walking or running. Besides swimming for therapeutical reasons, you would also want your dog to cool off and have fun, especially during the hot weather.
If you are one of the dog owners asking the question, where can I take my dog swimming, we have the perfect answer for you.
Where to Take Your Dog Swimming
Before you start searching for places to take your dog swimming, you must remember that not every dog breed has the body for swimming. Some dog breeds such as dachshunds and bulldogs have bulky bodies and should have a life jacket when swimming. Other breeds such as spaniels and retrievers are naturals in water.
Some breeds will not go anywhere near the water, no matter how hard you try to persuade them. You should know your breed well, meet all the safety and water health tips, and respect your dog’s preferences. With that said, let us go straight to where you can take your dog swimming near you.
1. Backyard Pool
If you stay in an area that does not have any swimming spots for pets, you can install a backyard pool for your dog. Though the idea of installing a dog pool in the backyard may come as a surprise go some dog owners, you can find one in pet stores or buy online.
If you cannot find a pool specifically built for the dog, you can purchase a kid’s swimming pool, and your dog can swim in it with ease. You have to remember that pools are not a one fits all, and they come in different rates, shapes, and sizes.
The advantage of having a backyard pool for your dogs is that they can cool off whenever the weather gets hot or when you need them to have fun splashing water around. You can even make it more exciting for the dogs by adding water sprinklers to the experience. Another advantage is that the pools are shallow and safe for your dog.
2. Local Dog Park Pools
Another great place to take your dog swimming would be in your local dog park. If you are lucky to find a local dog park with water features, then your dog is in for an even better treat. If you do not know whether your local area has a local dog park, you can call the department of parks and recreation in your area to make inquiries.
One example of a local dog park with water features is the Atlanta Dog Works, a fifteen-acre park that offers boarding, training, and a large pool that your pet can swim in.
3. Local Public Pools
If for some reason or the other, you cannot install a swimming pool in your backyard or find any dog park in your area, you can opt to take your dog swimming in any of the public swimming pools in your locality. Due to public health regulations, not all public pools allow dogs in their swimming pools.
However, you may be lucky to find those that allow dogs and their owners to enjoy end-of-season swimming sessions. Public swimming pools that allow dogs and their owners are becoming popular in many states and channeling fees collected to pet-related charities and animal shelters.
If you do not know where to find the public pools that offer these services, you can always check with your local or county department of parks and recreation for information.
4. Public Local Beach
If nothing else works and you still want to take your dog swimming, you could try your local beach. The unfortunate thing is that many public beaches do not allow dogs’ presence, and if you go with one, you may end up paying a fine. However, some public beaches encourage families to go to the beach with their dogs.
Do your research thoroughly to avoid any disappointments and once you find one, ensure to abide by all the rules and clean up after your dog. Cleaning after the dog shows that you are considerate of all the other people enjoying the same facilities as you are.
Carry poop bags, and ensure you pack some treats for your pup. As long as you respect the set rules, you and your dog can enjoy the water and beach play for as long as you want.
How Safe Is It For The Dog To Swim In The Ocean?
One of the worries dog owners have when it comes to swimming in the ocean is how safe it is. Swimming in a pool in the backyard is comfortable because it is shallow, and monitoring the dog is easy. However, the ocean is deeper, and there are things kike waves and riptides to deal with.
The best safety measure to take is arming your dog with a dog life jacket each time it steps into the ocean. Supervising the dog by being close and swimming alongside it is another way to ensure its safety.
Ensure that the dog does not swim too off the shore, and it does not drink saltwater that comes with dehydrating effects. Make sure to carry fresh water for your dog just in case it feels thirsty. You can buy a collapsible water bowl from Amazon for convenience.
Advantages of Encouraging Your Dog to Swim
As we mentioned earlier, many dog owners prefer walking their dogs or allowing them to run around as the best form of exercise. However, just as walking or running is good for the dog, swimming as it provides the perfect aerobic exercise for your pet. The following are the advantages of taking your dog for a swim.
Improves the Overall dog’s Health
If you allow your dog to swim for just one minute, it is the same as allowing it to run for four minutes. Swimming provides the dog with various health benefits that include an increase in metabolism, strengthening the lungs and the heart, improving circulation, keeping the coat and skin healthy, and decreasing inflammation.
Swimming also helps to tone and strengthen the muscles. If your dog enjoys overall good health, it will be happier and have fewer injury risks.
One of the reasons humans love swimming is because it helps to improve mental stimulation. The same reason works well too for the dog. Swimming does great things to the dog’s mental health as it does to its physical health.
Even though the dogs can get their mental stimulation from playing and other activities, swimming allows them to have more freedom to have fun without a leash. Not restraining provides the dog with the freedom to release any pent-up energy with ease, thus relieving stress. Stress relief makes the dog rest happily and sleeps better.
Helps to fight obesity
Overweight in dogs is a huge problem that makes dogs prone to many health issues. Taking an obese dog through an exercise routine is difficult because you will overwork joints and muscles already stressed by the extra weight. When a dog is swimming, the water supports the dog’s weight without putting any strain on the joints and muscles.
Swimming is, therefore, one of the best ways to burn off extra calories in obese dogs and improve their metabolism and circulation without any risk of injuries. Remember to include a balanced and healthy diet to go with the swimming routines for better health and weight.
If you want the best therapeutic exercise for your dog, you should take it swimming in warm water. Warm water strengthens the joints, improves the recovery process, facilitates blood circulation, and helps with muscle fortification.
Warm water helps relieve pain and warm up the muscles much faster, which reduces the possibilities of further injuries. If you live in an area that does not enjoy a warm climate, check if the local dog rehabilitation centers offer heated pool facilities for dogs recovering from injuries and other health issues.
Supports the joints
Some of the most common health issues many dog breeds go through are tendon and joint disorders. Some of the most common conditions are arthritis of the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, and dysplasia.
The breeds with these problems require muscular exercise to strengthen the structures surrounding the joints and tendons. Swimming is the best option, as it does not stress the joints and muscles.
Cooling and fun
Swimming helps to cool the dogs, especially during the hot weather. Routine exercise overheats the dog’s body quickly, disallowing them to exercise for long. On the other hand, swimming allows them to exercise for longer because of the natural body heat dissipation. Besides cooling the body, dogs enjoy being in the water. You could even have a hard time getting them out.
Wrapping It Up
Hanging around the beach is a fun thing to do with your favorite pet. It even gets better if you can go for a splash with your dog and a few water games together. It is just as much fun for the dog as it is for you. Besides the fun and cooling off, swimming also does great things for the dog’s overall health.
If you cannot go to the beach or a public pool, you could purchase a dog-friendly pool and install it in the backyard so the pet can have a splash any time you think it is suitable for a splash. In everything you do, you should remember to take the safety of the dog first.