Canine Swimming Advantages

by Pool Builders on 06-07-2010 in Articles

Who doesn't love a dip in the pool especially on a hot summer day? There isn't a dog who doesn't love to plunge in and most are natural born swimmers who will paddle away many calories while playing fetch or giving chase to other pool buddies. Besides carefree summer fun, swimming for dogs offers many other advantages.

Aqua classes are useful for dogs recovering from surgery as the water offers virtually no impact, allowing joints to increase range of motion without straining them. Swimming can help build muscles that may have atrophied because of illness or injury. By reducing pressure directly on the joints and supporting muscles, older dogs can increase their cardio in the pool.

Swimming is especially useful for working dogs to help relax over-used muscles. Water4Dogs in Tribeca New York City has programs for obese dogs, older dogs and puppy classes. This is a great facility that can also help with shy dogs to increase their confidence around other dogs.

Check with your vet before your dog takes the plunge to make sure the aqua regiment you have planned is appropriate. You may want to inquire with your vet if an increase in kibble is needed if a long period of water exercise is to take place.

Whether your dog is swimming in a pool or a pond, consider safety your number one priority. Outfit your dog with a flotation vest. Many dog supplies stores carry them for large and small breeds. Have your dog walk around with the life jacket on to ensure a comfortable fit then let her swim with it. Most vests have adjustable straps allowing you to customize it to your dog's body shape. Always have dog first aid within easy reach and supervise swim lessons. This will allow you to "check in" with her to make sure she is not overexerting herself.

Once out of the water, rinse your dog with fresh water and apply doggie shampoo to remove any salt water or chlorine before giving her a bowl of water with a special treat. Praise her with lots of love and positive reinforcement to ensure her next swim session is a fun one.

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