A guide to Canine Swimming and what to consider- here are 5 things to consider. When you take your dog swimming may be the difference between helping or hurting your dog. Most dogs will instinctively take to water especially as puppies. It is however not advisable to leave your puppy unsupervised in a pool (no matter how deep or shallow). Once they learn how to swim, it is a fantastic exercise and most dogs love the water. A swim should not be confused with Hydrotherapy (some therapy is performed in a dedicated professionally designed under water tread mill) a number of pet service related establishments extol the benefits of swimming as hydrotherapy. However, unless a trained practitioner is administering and directing exercises, time in the water can cause more damage to an injured dog.
- Swimming is not Hydrotherapy
- Protect your dogs ears
- Is your dog strong enough?
- Is this a shared indoor or outdoor canine pool
1. Swimming is not hydrotherapy
While swimming is a beneficial exercise and contributes to your dogs health with benefits such as building muscle and stamina, it is not therapy. Hydrotherapy pools or treadmills are run by qualified physiotherapists. Any exercise carried out in hydrotherapy center is done taking into consideration your dogs age, physical condition and ability.
2. Protect your dogs ears
Lake – Larger lakes can be a fun and generally safe place for dogs. Avoid lakes with algae on the surface, as this can be toxic, causing ear/eye irritation and GI upset. Watch the shore for hazardous debris, and steer clear of any water that appears stagnant, dirty, or contains debris or trash.
A properly maintained swimming pool is generally safe for dogs to swim in. Pool water, whether chlorine or saltwater, is not considered harmful under most circumstances. … Pool chemicals can cause skin irritation and dryness in both humans and animals, especially if they swim often. (Source: Spruce Pets)
3. Is your Dog strong enough?
Spinal cord injury – Your dog’s spine is one of the most vital and delicate organs of the body. It is the skeletal frame work which protects the organs and is responsible for your dogs mobility. here are many therapies that can help in rehabilitation as well as strengthening an injured or ageing spine. Hydrotherapy is a medically supervised activity. Swimming and ‘splashing’ around a dog pool or lake is not hydrotherapy! Please ensure a licensed professional treats your dog if you believe your dogs condition of arthritis,
hip dysplasia, spinal disorders can benefit from therapy.
4. Is this a shared indoor or outdoor canine pool
Shared pools for canines and humans are a lot of fun! But beneath the surface may lurk pesky infections. Make sure the pool has a cleaning schedule, this is something you can and should demand to know. Does the pool allow canines with illnesses to swim. What health checks do they perform and are all the attendants trained in canine management.
Make sure the pool has adequate safety gear like swim jackets for dogs.
This guide is not comprehensive and it is impossible to give you the correct conditions for each individual dogs needs.