Who doesn’t love a dip in the pool on a hot summer day?
It’s universally agreed that nothing pairs better with summer than a fun outdoor activity. Swimming is one such exercise that lets you bask in the sun while relishing in the cool waves of the surrounding water. If you think so too, you’ll be happy to know that you can share your love of swimming with your dog too!
Summer can be a tricky time for your dog, as they are vulnerable to heatstrokes, dehydration, sunburn, and parasites, and are even in danger of burning their paws. In this challenging season, swimming can be a wonderful way to get your dog up, moving, and making the most of summer without compromising their safety. Here are some ways swimming can benefit your dog:
It’s a Form of Exercise
Swimming is a low-impact exercise and a full-body workout for dogs. It can help them build strength, stamina, and cardiovascular fitness without putting undue stress on their joints. Swimming can be particularly beneficial for dogs who are overweight or who have arthritis, as it can help them to stay active without triggering their condition. As the water is able to support most of the weight, your dog can easily burn their calories and get their metabolic rate up without the risk of injury.
Swimming Can Help Your Dog De-Stress
Dogs can get stressed out just like humans, and swimming can be a great way for them to relax and unwind. The buoyancy of the water can help to ease tension in their muscles, while the coolness of the water can be refreshing on a hot summer day. Swimming can also help to reduce anxiety in dogs who are afraid of other forms of exercise, such as running or jumping.
It Promotes Joint Health
Swimming can be particularly beneficial for dogs who have joint problems, such as hip dysplasia or arthritis. The buoyancy of the water can help to support their joints, reducing the impact of their movements and making it easier for them to exercise. Swimming can also help to improve range of motion and flexibility, which can help to prevent further joint damage.
It Provides Mental Stimulation
Swimming can be a great form of mental stimulation for dogs, particularly those who enjoy playing in the water. It can help to improve their cognitive function and keep them mentally engaged, which can be especially important for older dogs or those with cognitive decline. Swimming can also provide a fun and engaging way for dogs to bond with their owners and other dogs.
Swimming Can Help Your Dog Cool Down
Finally, swimming can be a great way for dogs to cool off on hot summer days. Dogs can easily overheat in the summer, and swimming can help to regulate their body temperature and prevent heatstroke. It can also be a fun and enjoyable way for them to spend time outdoors with their owners!
Safety Tips for the Pool
Swimming is often considered a natural activity for dogs, but their ability to stay afloat depends on more than just their paddling skills. To ensure their safety in the water, it's important to follow some basic guidelines.
- Always supervise your dog when they're swimming. Assist them in getting in and out of the pool, and consider using a flotation device if necessary.
- It's recommended that dogs wait at least two hours after eating before swimming to avoid potential medical emergencies.
- Owners of older dogs should be especially careful, as their agility may have decreased over time.
- Dogs who enjoy swimming should have access to fresh water to drink, even though the chlorine levels in most swimming pools are typically not harmful.
- If swimming in natural bodies of water like lakes or rivers, be aware of the potential presence of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.
- After swimming, whether in a pool or natural water source, it's important to rinse your dog off with clean water to remove any chemicals or debris. Be sure to dry your dog well, especially their skin folds and ears, to prevent inflammation or infection. If your dog is prone to ear infections after swimming, talk to your veterinarian about a medicated cleanser that can help prevent future problems.
Swimming can be a great bonding exercise with your dog for the summer as long as set precautions are in place. With a monitored environment and a list of safety guidelines in place, your dog can let go and soak in the summer vibes. Don’t force it if your dog isn’t interested in swimming, and especially avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day. Otherwise, there’s no better way to spend the summer holidays than by splashing around with your beloved dog!