For dogs who love to swim, playing in the water has many benefits. Swimming is an all-around healthy activity for your dog. It provides everything from exercise to stimulation, and a needed release for all that energy dogs have.
Exercise and Playtime
The most obvious benefit of swimming for your dog is exercise. Dogs often have excess energy to burn which needs to be channeled into activities that keep them active and healthy, and keeps them from being destructive out of boredom. Swimming is good for the whole body, from cardio to muscles. When a dog can swim, they are naturals and adapt to it very quickly. A good swimmer is fun to watch in the water.
Dogs who love to swim get a great deal of pleasure out of the activity. Some dogs will swim for hours, which is phenomenal exercise. It is even more fun when you go swimming along with your dog in the sea, a pool, or a lake. To add a little more excitement to the activity, bring along a ball or other object that floats for your dog to swim after and fetch.
Even dogs can get bored and restless. Varied activities help to keep your dog alert, focused and happy. Exercise and play time help stimulate their minds, and varying their activities helps as well. Take advantage of the times when you can bring your dog to the water and give them needed stimulation.
In the extreme summer heat, dogs can have a difficult time staying cool since they do not sweat the same way humans do. They cool off through the pads of their feet, and by panting, which pulls air in. Keeping your dog hydrated is important, but you can also help them cool down with water play. Even just a little kiddie pool helps, but a good swim will help keep their body temperature at a comfortable level when they are overwhelmed with heat. Dogs may enjoy a refreshing dip, just like we do.
If your dog is perfectly capable of swimming but is hesitant to get in the water or seems afraid of it, try tempting them with a dog treat to help break the initial resistance. Be patient the same way you would be with a human child learning about the water and swimming. If you make it a pleasant experience, your dog will quickly learn that water play is fun and refreshing.
For dogs that can’t swim, you can purchase a life jacket which will allow them to join in on all the fun in the water. If you use that option, make sure you get the right size for your dog to enable the vest to do the job properly.
Enjoy the water with your dog, and let them benefit from all the pluses it provides!