With this beautiful weather, some dogs would of course like to enter the water! Many dog ??owners assume that swimming is good for their dog, but that is not always the case. However, swimming is not a natural property for dogs. While some dogs swim the same as soon as they get into the water, other dogs sink to the bottom like a brick. When it comes to swimming, dogs are generally divided into three categories.
Excellent swimming dog breeds
Larger breeds such as Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters Newfoundlanders fall into the first category and are all excellent swimmers. This is mainly due to their strong limbs, but it is also in their genes. These breeds have been specially bred to extract waterfowl from the water during the hunt. Between their toes you often see special flippers. These dogs like to swim and you will also see them jump into the sea or in a lake more often.
Dog breeds that can learn to swim
Small dogs such as the Maltese and the Chihuahua are sometimes good swimmers, but cool off quickly in the water or are afraid of the water. As a result, the risk of drowning is high. So let these dogs always swim in low water where they can get out quickly.
Dog breeds that can not swim
On the other hand, you have smaller breeds such as bulldogs, dachshunds and boxers. They do not have enough thrust in their short legs to stay afloat. Breeds with flat jaws, such as the pug, also find it difficult to swim because they get tired quickly.
Can your dog swim ?
Not every dog ??can swim. So it is first attempted under safe conditions. Cases have also been described in which the dog’s coat “fills” with water while swimming and in this way the dog gets more and more trouble to literally and figuratively keep the head above water. Even dogs that can swim well can get into trouble if the environment is not really safe. From my own clinic I know a practical case where a dog that could swim well in the marina between two boats fell and hopeless drowned due to lack of space to swim.
Furthermore, it is of course just like people, there are physical conditions that do not make swimming sensible so not life-threatening. Certain muscle and / or skeletal disorders can be aggravated by swimming, it is also clear that dogs may swim with epileptic.
Afraid of water
Some dogs may naturally have the physical capacity to swim, but are still terrified of water. These dogs tend to panic when under water. Panic quickly leads to fatigue, which increases the chance of drowning again. Some dogs do not even want to go outside when it rains, let alone into the water. Never throw a frightened dog in the water but wait until it enters the water itself.
When swimming, the dog makes movements that are totally different from the normal movement. The “swimming load” will therefore have to be gradually increased to prevent injuries, also a “warm-up” is recommended.
A specific injury can occur if the dog has to clamber on a higher shore to leave the water. Shoulder injuries occur because the dog has to put a lot of force and in case of a wet (long-haired) coat the weight may have increased considerably! It is better to find a place where the dog can walk out of the water or help the dog without pulling his front paws.
Playing in the water
Nothing is more fun than a dog who is playing in the water. For dogs that like swimming, there are special collars that can withstand water and therefore do not stink. Of course it is also fun to play with your dog in the water with dog toys that bite drifting like this Frisbee or these balls
If your dog is not the new terms of swimming skills, do not despair. There are plenty of recreational pools of lakes with low water where you can have fun with your dog. There are also special life jackets for dogs for sale. Of course you can also relax with your dog along the side and enjoy the sun.