Swimming With Fido

It’s summer, and many people are flocking to pools to cool off on hot days. Our canine pals also enjoy swimming! You will need to be careful when bringing Fido to a lake or pool, though. An Anderson, IN vet discusses taking your dog swimming in this article.

To Swim Or Not To Swim

Swimming can be great for dogs. It’s often helpful for large breeds, as they can enjoy a no-impact workout. Not all of our canine pals are cut out for the water, however. Small breeds can get into trouble in as little as a foot of water. Brachycephalic dogs lose their breath very quickly, and really shouldn’t do anything even remotely strenuous. And, while some dogs, like Retrievers, are natural swimmers, others will just sink. Ask your vet if swimming is a good option for your pooch. If the answer is no, don’t worry. Fido can still enjoy splashing around in a kiddie pool!

Doggy Swimming Lessons

If Fido can’t swim, take time and teach him. Don’t throw him into the water: this could very well terrify him, and make him scared of water. Support him as he’s learning, and encourage him with praise and cuddles.


Whenever you take your dog to a pool, you should immediately teach him how to get out. If Fido falls in accidentally when no one is looking, he could be in serious trouble if he can’t find the pool exit! Spend time on this training, and make sure it sinks in.


Follow the same pool safety rules for Fido as you would with a child. First and foremost, never leave your pet alone near the water, even for a minute. We also recommend fencing off the pool when it’s not in use. Pool covers can also be dangerous: dogs sometimes mistake them for solid surfaces, and try to walk on them.


Dogs’ paws become very delicate when they are wet. Paw balm will protect Fido’s feet, so he doesn’t get blisters or burns. When swim time is over, rinse Fido’s fur off to get the chlorine out of his coat. (Note: dogs with pale or thin fur can get sunburns. If your furry friend falls into those categories, ask your vet about putting sunscreen on him.)

Is your dog due for an exam, vaccinations, or parasite control? Call us, your Anderson, IN pet hospital, today!

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