With roads getting more cluttered with cars and bikes, and parks becoming more non-existent, every dog parent comes upon the time when they wonder what would be the next best way to give their dog that great weekend workout. We believe that swimming pools are most definitely the best gym you’ll never need for your dog. If you don’t believe us, we’d urge you to try to out and check out that blissful expression on your dog’s face when he’s paddling away in water.
If you’re looking for that more intense exercise regime, it may surprise you to know that 1 minutes’ swimming is equivalent to 4 minutes of running! Don’t be surprised if your seemingly healthy dog can swim only a few minutes in the first try. Start the regime gently and slowly increase the number of minutes over time. If your dog is slightly overweight, it would not be a good idea to over-exercise him or her on land – excessive running can really stress bones and joints. This is completely avoided in water where a lot of calories are burnt just to keep afloat and paddle forward. All those facts aside, it’s probably the most FUN they can ever have!
We might have established that swimming is probably the best accessible workout your dog could ever get. But let’s keep in mind that not all breeds are built with the swimming gene. Medium to large sized breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labradors have longer legs with slightly webbed toes and are great swimmers. You will find breeds with heavy chests and short legs having a great difficulty swimming. No matter how much they may paddle, they bodies are just not made to be hydrodynamic.
However, whether you’re getting ready for that beach vacation or weekend pool party, there are ways to get your dog pool ready. If this is the first time your dog is swimming, get him a floater which can be used as a safe-spot in the water to keep afloat on. If you will be having the company of other dogs in the pool, he might not need a safe-spot at all! Watching other dogs having a great time paddling in the water can be incentive enough for him to take that big dive.
If you’re very unsure how his first swim will go, have a trainer or you get into the water to help them with great confidence. Trainers have a knack of putting dogs in harnesses and keeping them stationary in water. As they paddle harder and harder in a stationary position, their legs get attuned to moving in the right way when in water.
At Wagr, we understand that raising a dog can be confusing. With our platform to interact with other dog-owners and our easy access to dog-friendly places and people, you will be well equipped to handle any change that your dog needs to grow into! Until then, go out and take that big splash!