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Can I Take My Dog Swimming?

Can I Take My Dog Swimming: What Do You Should Know Before!

Summer is close for everyone, including for our pet mates!  

Can I Take my Dog Swimming?

With the arrival of summer, and often in vacation, it is common for all of us to enjoy the beach, pools or lakes especially in hot days. Of course, for those who have a pet, it is not possible to leave them out of their plans, so why not take him with us? 

Dog owners love to bring their dogs with them when enjoying some quality time next to the water. But there are often some doubts and concerns about dogs swimming. Is swimming good for a dog and what breed of dog can swim? Therefore, getting informed and following a veterinarian’s instructions is always very important and can avoid unsafe situations. 

Dog swimming

Swimming is much more than just fun, it is a great physical exercise and, as for humans, it is positive for your companion´s health. Swimming provides more physical resistance, helps the cardiovascular system and strengthens the muscles. 

In many cases, swimming can be a great way to overcome the heat and high temperatures that often prevent you from enjoying outdoor exercises.

Are All Dogs Able to Swim? 

Some people like to have fun with their dog in the pool, at the beach, or in lakes it’s always good to be aware of your dog’s safety. 

It is important that your dog gets used to the water and the environment to which he will be exposed, he can often show fear or discomfort at first. 

Dogs that are not born swimmers, are those that have a large pectoral structure and small paws which makes it very difficult when rowing to move. Dogs of small size, with short legs and snout, are also not naturally swimming dogs, like a Pug or a Shih-Tzu, 

Breeds that can not swim

Medium to large size dogs are potential swimmers. Certain dogs were even born to swim, like the Labrador Retriever or the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Some breeds even contain the word “water” in their name like the Portuguese Water Dog. They were bred to retrieve water birds for hunter or to work in the water as a fisherman´s helper. 

Smaller dogs, but with a normal muzzle size, usually do well in the water, too. It is important to know how to make your pet feel comfortable in the Water, as it can be a little scary for them if they don’t get used to the Water, first.

Smal Dog Swimming

Here are some tips on how to start teaching your dog swimming:

  • If it is the first swimming experience of your dog, go slow and use treats. The earlier you start with the training the easier your will get him used to water. Puppies that learn to enjoy water in an early age are much more likely to enjoy it in later life. 


  • A great way to start is a dog swimming pool, to diminish the scale and take the fear away 


  • Keep the training sessions short to avoid him to swallow too much water.


  • Try to avoid swimming when the weather is cold, to prevent your dog suffering from hypothermia. The water needs to be warm for the muscles to work properly.


  • If you are at the beach, take fresh water with you, so that your dog is not trying to drink the salty water.


  • Follow your dog and let him feel comfortable in the Water. 
Life preserver dog
  • Remember to wear the life preserver, to better understand how the dog will react when placed to practice the activity.  


  • Try to always be close to your dog instead of putting him alone to swim. Sometimes he needs an encouragement and company to get in the water. 


  • When the first impact of the new environment passes, use a toy to make him feel fine to swim for some distance. This will help in his performance and it he will feel more comfortable. 


These were some steps for you to identify your dog’s profile and take precautions before going through the experience with your pet. You have to take your dog´s breed and given physique into consideration. While smaller dogs with small paws and a short muzzle aren’t natural swimmers, some dog breeds, especially medium to large size dogs are born to swim. 

However if you are just starting to train your dog swimming, it is always important to start slow and make him getting used to water. Avoid really cold water and follow your dog in the water, to take away the fear and make him feel more safe. 

If your dearest doesn’t like the water at all, after some tries to get him being used to water, try out some other great exercises, which might fit better to him. Read more in our article How to Exercise Your Dog In- and Outdoors! Being in the water for some dogs, makes them tired and sometimes they have difficulty breathing. Safety comes before fun! 

With a lot of responsibility and taking the right precautions, you and your dog will enjoy the sunny days together! And in cases you have to leave your dog at home, don´t worry we help you to keep your company to your furry friend! With Pawbo+, the interactive pet camera, you can see, speak and treat your dog anytime and from anywhere!

Pawbo Dog camera


Visit our blog for more questions and let us know if you have any topic, you’d like us to write about!   

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