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Is Swimming Good For Dogs? (Plus 5 Benefits!)

Dog owners love to spend time playing with their companions especially in the summer. However, you need to be very careful to don’t exercise your buddy in too hot temperatures. Water sports such as swimming are awesome for dogs to let them cool down and be active at the same time!

Most canines will love to swim and play in the water. My Labrador loves to play around the lake and chase some frogs. Even if she’s not the best swimmer, I would like to use that sport to keep her fit and have fun. My first question was: Is swimming good for dogs? So, I did a little bit of research, and here’s what I’ve found!

Good Dog Swimming Pool

Swimming is very good for dogs to improve their overall health and fitness. This sport isn’t only an interesting way to work out, it’s also very accessible to fragile pets. Swimming is awesome to exercise with overweight, old, injured, and young companions. That’s also great therapy for dogs with hip/elbow dysplasia or joint issues!

That’s wonderful to finally find a dog sport that is accessible for dogs with health or structural problems. Things like running, canicross, biking or hiking can be very fun, but you need to have a dog in almost perfect shape and health to enjoy these sports. Playing in the water with your dog is good to exercise and have fun whatever your companion’s conditions are. Let me share other useful things and awesome benefits I’ve found about swimming for dogs!

Is Swimming Good For Dogs?

This activity is probably one of the best ways to exercise your furry companion. Just as it is for humans, swimming provides a complete form of workout for dogs. This water sport is interesting for the whole body of your furball. Moreover, most dogs love to swim and play in the water. This physical activity can be awesome to stay active with your buddy and have a lot of fun!

Great Source Of Exercise For Dogs!

Do you know how much exercise your companion requires? Before finding the right dog sports to enjoy, you should know your furry workout partner’s needs. In general, most dogs will need around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. Nevertheless, it could be up to 2 hours of daily physical activity for very active dogs such as Labradors, Belgian Malinois or Dalmatians. For low-energy breeds like Bulldogs or Newfoundlands, they could require less than 30 minutes of exercise per day!

Dog Jumping In The Water

Keep in mind that every dog has different conditions and needs. The breed isn’t the only element to look at to determine your buddy’s exercise requirements. Things like age, health, energy, and personality can make that number vary a lot. Therefore, it’s not always easy to provide your dog with proper exercise!

The main advantage of swimming for dogs is to make them more active. Unfortunately, too many dog owners don’t give enough playtime to their companions. That could lead to boredom, obesity, behavioral issues, and other negative consequences. However, canine sports such as running, swimming, hiking or agility training are awesome to keep your dog fit, healthy and happy!

Swimming is especially good for active dogs. It’s probably the most efficient way to exercise high-energy breeds. Just to give you an idea, 1 minute of swimming is the equivalent of approximately 4 minutes of running. This physical activity is also interesting to stimulate all the muscles of your pooch. So, swimming is perfect for dogs to stay active, improving their strength, and have fun!

Here Are Some Other Health Benefits!

  • Build Muscles.
  • Strengthen the Heart and Lungs.
  • Improve Metabolism.
  • Help For Better Circulation.
  • A Decrease In Inflammation.
  • Joint-Friendly.
  • Mental Stimulation.
  • Etc.

Swimming Is Awesome For Dogs With Health Problems!

When it’s time to find a physical activity to do, health is really important. Your companion’s medical restrictions are something to take seriously. That will influence a lot of your possible choices to exercise safely. For example, active dogs are prone to many structural issues. That could restrict them from running or biking, but not from swimming. Most canine activities in the water are safe for nearly all dogs!

Dog Ready To Swim

Swimming For Dogs With Hip or Elbow Dysplasia!

You should consider swimming with dogs that have any kind of joint problems. These buddies will have a lot of restrictions concerning their exercise routine. However, that’s not because they have issues with intense sports that they can’t swim. The main problem isn’t the intensity of the activity; it’s the impact on their joints! 

On the contrary to running sports, swimming is totally fine for dogs with a hip or elbow dysplasia. Furthermore, many experts use swimming as therapy for companions with joint issues. This awesome exercise will help your dog to stay fit without putting any unnecessary pressure on his joints!

Water Sports Are Interesting For Fragile Companions!

Dogs with structural conditions aren’t alone to be restricted from many sports. Other health issues could be problematic to run or do other intense canine activities. For example, many people think that giant dogs are good running partners. However, most of the very large companions are too heavy to jog without hurting themselves. Therefore, swimming could be a wonderful alternative to running for these giant buddies!

Two Dogs Swimming

Senior Dogs.

Every animal becomes less active and more fragile at a certain age. Old dogs will need less intense exercise, but almost the same amount of physical activity. Many senior companions are prone to arthritis and other structural issues. That will restrict them to enjoy running safely, but they won’t stop if you don’t force them to do so. They will keep doing intense activities even if it’s hurting them. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to try things that have a lower impact on their old bodies!

Swimming will help you provide enough activity to your senior companion. He will love to stay strong and active while playing in the water with you. This is especially interesting for dogs with arthritis or other structural conditions. While they swim in the water, their bodyweight can’t hurt their joints and they avoid any kind of sudden movement. Swimming could be the right solution to keep your old buddy fit, happy and healthy!

Overweight Buddies.

Regulating your dog’s weight isn’t difficult. Many people think that running is the best way to lose weight for dogs. Nonetheless, the extra weight of obese companions can sometimes be a problem to run safely. Like ultra-large companions, it could painful to jog for overweight dogs. Putting your dog on a diet and starting with low-impact activities could be more efficient to solve his weight problems!

Swimming is awesome to lose weight and help your dog get in better shape. Moreover, you will lower the risks of injuries or joint issues. For an obese furball, I would start by improving his general health with good nutrition and proper exercise (Walks + Playtime)!

Once they are healthy enough, I would exercise him with more physical activities such as walking, swimming, etc. After he has built some muscle mass and stamina, I would consider trying more intense sports such as running, canicross, frisbee, etc.

What Is Swimming Therapy For Dogs?

It’s physiotherapy that is called «Hydrotherapy» or «Water Cure». That’s simply a process that uses the resistance of the water to help recover from injuries or relieve pain. It’s often very good for dogs with structural issues such as torn ACL, hip or elbow dysplasia, arthritis, etc. There are many actions to do that help rehabilitation for dogs!

Here Are Various Benefits of Hydrotherapy!

  • Faster Recovery From Injuries.
  • Relief of Pain, Swelling or Stiffness.
  • Muscle Building.
  • Improve Motion.
  • Promote Blood Circulation.
  • Tissue Healing.
  • Cardiovascular Fitness.
  • Etc.

Water Cure is a safe, reliable, and efficient way to improve your dog’s well-being. Professionals and dog therapists will use underwater treadmills, whirlpool therapy, and canine pools to help your injured companion. That’s just helped me understand how swimming can be an interesting way to exercise safely. However, you should always ask professionals to help you with serious injuries or structural problems! (Learn more about hydrotherapy for dogs on Dogtime site!)

Can All Dogs Enjoy Swimming?

This physical is accessible to every dog that knows how to swim. Not all breeds are natural swimmers, it can be very challenging for some of them. Moreover, your furry companion could be scared of water if he’s not introduced to swimming young. Some dogs could develop a phobia because of a bad experience with water or simply don’t like to swim!

Natural Swimmer Dog Breeds!

Golden Retrivever Dog Swimming
  • Labrador or Golden Retrievers.
  • Standard Poodles.
  • Newfoundlands.
  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
  • Irish or American Water Spaniels. 
  • Boykin Spaniels.
  • Irish or English Setters.
  • Portuguese or Spanish Water Dogs.
  • Labrador Retrievers.
  • Etc.

Even if they were bred to swim in the water, that doesn’t mean they will like it. For example, my Labrador is one of the breeds to swim, but she rarely does it. That’s why it’s important to not stereotype dogs because they are all different. Generally, with some training or a life jacket, almost every dog should be suitable to play in the water safely. Nonetheless, a few exceptional companions won’t be able or like to swim!

Some Dogs To Be Careful With Before Swimming!

Bulldog With Life Jacket
  • Basset Hounds.
  • Bulldogs. 
  • Pugs.
  • Corgis.
  • Dachshunds.
  • Pekingese Dogs. 
  • Boxers. 
  • Bull Terriers. 
  • Shih Tzus.
  • Chow Chows.
  • Shar Pei Dogs.
  • Etc.

5 Benefits Of Swimming For Dogs!

As you have probably noticed, swimming as many advantages for your dog. I already explain most of the benefits of swimming with your furry companion. There are plenty of interesting reasons to simply give more exercise time to your buddy. Besides, water sports have other benefits that every dog owner should profit from!

Why Is Swimming Good For Dogs? (Benefits!)

  • Great Source of Exercise!
  • Low-Impact Sport! (Joint-Friendly)
  • Amazingly Stress-Relieving!
  • Pain-Relieving! (Hydrotherapy)
  • Accessible For Most Dogs! (Overweight, Senior, etc.)

All these advantages make swimming one of the best ways to exercise for dogs. Every canine owner should consider playing in the water with their companion. Assure you to teach how to swim to your dog when he’s still young, it’s more fun and easy. Swimming is so good for dogs, you should try it with yours!

10 Ways To Swim With Your Dog!

Swimming is a really large term, and there is more than one way to do it. Once you teach your dog how to swim, there are many ways to swim with him. If your companion loves the water, you will have many ideas of activities to try with him. Here are some fun things to do with dogs that enjoy swimming!

Dog Surfing
  • Fetch In The Water.
  • Surfing or Paddle Boarding.
  • Dog Diving.
  • Dock Jumping.
  • Boating.
  • Play In The Water.
  • Go To The Beach.
  • Freestyle Swimming.
  • Canoeing or Kayaking.
  • Fishing.
  • Etc.

The summer is awesome to enjoy water sports. Trying them with your dog could be very interesting for his health and happiness. During hot days swimming is especially interesting for dogs to cool down. Now you have plenty of canine activities to do with your dog that includes swimming!

Other Good Activities Than Swimming For Dogs!

Even if water sports have many benefits for furry pets, that’s not the only way to make your buddy happier. There are many other ways to exercise your dog physically and mentally. I’ve found some other cool things to do with active furballs!

Dog Ready To Run
  • Fun Dog Sports To Try With Your Buddy!
  • Play in a Sprinkler, Leaves or Snow.
  • Hiking.
  • Running.
  • Canicross.
  • Play Fetch or Frisbee.
  • Teach Him New Tricks.
  • Etc.

Swimming With Your Dog – Related Questions.

Before you enjoy canine water sports, there’s a lot of information to know. Swimming can be very dangerous if you’re not careful. For example, I highly recommend you to have a life jacket before to teach your dog how to swim. A few seconds of inattention could result in your dog drowning. That’s why you should always supervise your dog to enjoy swimming safely!

Is It OK To Let Your Dog Swim In Your Pool?

Your companion will probably have a lot of fun in your pool. However, you should be very careful to not give them access to it without supervision. You should also consider doing more maintenance. You will have to clean your pool from the fur, dirt or any other things that your dog can bring in the water! (Dogs should be OK with chlorine pool according to AKC!)

Dog Swimming Pool

How Long Can Dogs Swim For?

Even if swimming is accessible for dogs, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them. Most dogs can swim around 10 minutes non-stop with some training. Nonetheless, it will vary a lot depending on your buddy’s breed, age, athletic characteristics, experience, stamina, etc. Some very good furry swimmers can stay up to 30 minutes in the water!

Last Thoughts About Swimming With Dogs!

Puppy Swimming Pool

Finally, this physical activity is extremely good for pooches. Most dogs will love to play in the water with their owner. To be honest, I probably have at least as much fun as my Labrador doing water sports!

Swimming with your companion is fun, good bonding time, and excellent for both your health and fitness. That could be the perfect solution to be more active with your buddy. I hope this article helps you consider swimming sports as an opportunity to spend a good time with your dog. My Labrador and I would like to meet you in a dog-friendly pool, beach or water park!