What are the benefits of swimming for dogs?
I always thought the dog swimming sessions were for dogs that suffer from bad health and need pet hydrotherapy, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!
When we started looking into swimming for Yianni and Yoko, we had read that French Bulldogs are unable to swim without assistance of their human or life jackets due to their short snouts and short stature. So we were cautious of how to introduce them to water and aware of the problems that can arise for their breed.
To begin with Yianni and Yoko were not dogs that would see water and go running into it - they were dogs that jumper over the tiniest of puddles when out walking! So we began introducing them to water at home with a garden paddling pool and when we were out walking we would encourage them into shallow water.
After doing this for a few weeks Yianni & Yoko’s confidence grew and they were comfortable with going for a little paddle and puddles are no longer an issue! We were so excited and proud of their achievement we took their new found confidence and we visited the Saltdean Lido dog swim. We all absolutely loved it and have added it to our diaries for summer!
So what are the benefits of swimming for your dog?
- It’s fun! As well as it being fun for your dog, it can also be fun for you as with some locations you can go in and enjoy your dog’s swimming adventure with them.
- Great for dogs that are overweight – If your dog is overweight it can be hard to find an exercise that does not add extra stress to their already over worked joints or complete adequate exercise for their statue. Swimming is the perfect solution for you as the water will support most of your dog’s weight allowing them to burn calories and improve their metabolic rate without the risk of injury.
- Perfect way to cool off on hot days – As I said before we invested in a pool for our garden last summer and it was one of our best buys, as temperatures reached over 30 it didn’t matter if you were in or outdoors, staying cool was really difficult (unless you have air con fitted in your home or wanted to sit in your air con car until it passed!). So the dogs dipped in and out of the pool throughout the day and even tried to play together in there before going back for their all-important summer day naps!
- Stimulation for their brains – Just like us dogs benefit from mental stimulation, as well as physical. Dog’s benefit from mental stimulation in the form of fun, play and varied activities. It helps to keep your dog sharp and happy, as well as provide them with extra fun dreams to enjoy while they sleep for hours after their swimming sessions!
- Perfect if your dog cannot be off from their lead – By booking private swimming session’s, dogs that are usually restricted to exercising on a lead have the freedom to exert their energy without their dog lead in a private area.
- Great if your dog suffers with joint problems - Swimming is a non-weight bearing exercise that your dog can enjoy without putting stress on their joints. When in the water your dog’s weight is supported so their skeletal system is free from the stresses they are under when out of water.
- It is not just a summer activity! Swimming for dogs used to mean that you take them for a walk at the beach or river and your dog goes off for a swim. This is still the case but we now also have dog pools where we can take our dogs for exercise and have Winter fun without getting cold or wet from the sudden rainfall and cold temperatures we didn’t see coming!
The benefits of swimming for dogs are as good as if not better than it is for us humans. According to Dr Arleigh Reynolds, a Veterinary Surgeon and Canine Physiologist only 1 minute of swimming equates to 4 minutes of running for your dog!
Please note: Even if your dog can swim please be aware of the water that they go into and always have them under supervision, as they can still drown without easy access out of the water and if they are in open waters beware of fast moving currents.
We hope this information has been helpful and if have any comments or suggestions on the above we would love to hear in the comments below! Also please feel free to check out our directory for dog swimming near you.
Love from the Aurora Pets Team x