Teach Your Dog How to Swim With These Simple Steps
Many pet parents believe dogs are natural swimmers, but that’s not true. Their ability to swim depends on their breed. That’s why it’s important to ensure your dog can swim before taking it out to the lake or pool. Make sure you and your furry family members are set up for water safety and success this summer with these helpful steps.
1. Pool Introduction
The first step to teach your dog how to swim is getting them familiar with the place. Familiarity is key. Start by hanging out near the pool for a few minutes. Consider bringing along some of their favorite treats or a favorite toy. Ensure that they are associating the experience with the best of times.
Once you have a few minutes to settle in, it is time to start walking around the pool. If you haven’t already this is a good time to put on your dog’s life vest. A walk around the pool gives your pup a lay of the land and allows them to familiarize the feeling of wearing the vest.
2. Water Time
Here is where the fun begins. It is time to descend the stairs into the pool. It will be good to remember that if this is your dog’s first experience, they probably won’t follow you into the water. That’s okay. They need a little patience.
Begin by placing your pup’s front paws on the first step in the pool. Eventually, you will be able to position their paws so that they’re standing in the water. Make sure you cheer them on and shower them with love and encouragement – good boy/girl!
3. Swim Fun For Everyone
As your dog continues to get more comfortable in the water, you can begin easing them deeper into the water. Eventually, their feet will no longer be touching the ground. Make sure you’re right by their side the entire time, continuing to reassure them. If your dog is wearing a life vest, you can easily guide him around the pool with that. If not, placing your hand under their belly can provide the same stabilized guidance.
Try to coax them gently away from the pool’s edges and walls where they might escape. If they seem to be determined to reach the wall, allow them to do so before a gentle “no” followed by tons of love and encouragement.
If they’re gunning for the wall, let them approach it before gently saying “no” and guiding them away with plenty of encouragement and love as they start swimming again. Slow and steady will mean swimming success.
Though this process may take some time and patience, you and your dog will be safer and happier because of it. Just remember to stay patient, don’t panic, and have a splashing good time with your best furry friend.