Work Together with Our Woodbridge VA Vet to Help Your Dog Swim this Summer
This Summertime, it’s always fun to try and bring your dog to every social event possible, letting them get some fresh air and enjoy the shining sun! One of the best ways for everyone to cool down is a dip in the pool, but what about your pet? Take a look at these helpful tips from your Woodbridge VA vet on getting your dog comfortable swimming.
First Comes First – Safety!
We highly encourage getting your dog a lifejacket if this is their first time getting in the water. This will give your pet a safety net and make their time in the water a much easier, relaxing experience so they’re not straining or using all of their energy improperly.
Your dog is certainly familiar with water as a source of hydration, but if you’re teaching them to swim, start by getting them near or around some puddles or shallow waters. This will help them adjust to their wet paws and enjoy the time that they are spending time playing around water instead of simply drinking it.
Also be sure to stick close to your dog whenever they’re around these shallow waters. Show them that you’re comfortable touching it so they can do the same. They’ll know that going into the water isn’t a punishment with your encouragement.
Include some of their favorite toys to help them adjust to the water, like squeaking toys or tennis balls. The combination of toys and water can also help them feel more comfortable with the setting.
When your dog is comfortable and confident about spending time around water, it’s time to move into paddling! We encourage you to stay extremely close to your dog during this time since they’re still learning. While many dogs are natural swimmers, it’s still important to keep a close eye on your pet.
Don’t hesitate to use the lifejacket as many times as you’d like, ensuring that your dog is comfortable wearing it. An extra safety measure is always encouraged! As your dog is paddling, make sure you support its midsection and hindquarters until they’re comfortable and confident in the mechanics of paddling with all four feet.
While your dog is swimming, be sure you’re close by. They may show early signs of success as they swim, but they can easily get tired and slow down sooner than you think, so we encourage you be right by their side to pick them up or help them out of the water if they’re showing signs of exhaustion.
Swimming is a great exercise for dogs of all shapes and sizes! If you’re interested in getting your pup to start swimming, give our Woodbridge VA vet a call to learn more helpful teaching tricks and safety tips. You can call us at (571) 285-1855 and we’ll be happy to help!