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Doggy Paddle 101: Teaching Your Dog To Swim

Doggy Paddle 101: Teaching Your Dog To SwimNow that it’s summertime, we’re sure you’re definitely looking at spending time in or near water. This is the perfect time to make sure your four-legged buddy knows how to swim. If this is your pup’s first time getting his or her paws wet, you’ll want to introduce him or her to water in a safe and enjoyable manner. Be patient. Your dog may not take to swimming right off the bat. So, take your time and show the pup the positives of the experience.

Play It Safe

Despite popular belief that all dogs are natural swimmers, it’s actually not true. Smaller dogs, or those with shorter legs, often struggle to make use of their doggy paddle to stay afloat. Try getting your dog a life vest or a floatation device.

Take It SlowDoggy Paddle 101: Teaching Your Dog To Swim

Start your swimming lesson in shallow, current-free water. This will allow you to walk close to your dog while he or she paddles. We recommend you make use of your own pool, if you have one because it is a controlled environment. Start by keeping your dog on a leash. Walk into the water slowly and let your puppy get used to the water on the steps. Take your time to slowly move off of the steps and deeper into the water. Your dog will naturally begin paddling once you are deep enough. Make sure your pup is paddling with all four legs. If you notice that he or she is not using all fours to paddle, you can extend your arm under the pup’s belly to give him or her assistance until all of the legs are moving at the same time. If the dog seems tired or anxious, get out of the water and give the pup a time to calm down before you try again.

Make It Fun

If your doggy doesn’t seem to be persuaded to dip his or her toes in the water, try bringing along some of his or her favorite plastic toys and/or treats for encouragement. Try your hand with the toy first because it will be less messy than a soggy snack. And make sure to give lots and lots of praise!

Clean ‘Em UpLearning the doggy paddle

Now that you’re done with your first swimming lesson, the next step is the clean up. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the dog’s coat to remove any chemicals. Towel dry your dog, and then you can give the little one a treat for being so brave! Make sure to keep up with the swimming lessons!

We hope TLC Pet Boarding‘s tips help you get your doggy paddle on. If you are spending your summer away from your little pup, call us today at 954-295-5050 to make an appointment for pet boarding.