We all know summer is a great time for dogs to exercise outdoors. Activities like a game of fetch in an open field, long walks in the cool evenings and, of course, dog swimming is an amazing way to get your pup some exercise! Dogs need exercise to feel great, stay healthy and it reinforces the bond we have with them. An active dog is a happy dog!
We wanted to share our thoughts on dog swimming as a wonderful exercise for many dogs. Even if you think your dog is not a “water dog” you might want to reconsider adding swimming to their exercise routine.
Why is Swimming Good for Dogs?
Swimming is a low-impact aerobic exercise that enhances muscle and bone mass along with reducing inflammation and increasing circulation. Other benefits include: better respiratory functions, improved flexibility and mobility, potential weight loss and swimming provides dogs with needed mental stimulation.
Will My Dog Like Swimming?
Every dog reacts differently to swimming. A lot of this depends on the breed, the temperament of the dog and the type of swimming – be it an indoor pool or an outdoor ocean, lake or pond.
The best way to find out if your dog would like swimming is to expose your dog to different kinds of swimming. Each has its own rewards!
- Try a plastic pool in your backyard, at an area dog park or at your dog’s daycare. K9U Chicago has lots of portable pools we use during summer in our outdoor play areas and our dogs love it! Dog swimming is a very social activity.
- If you have access to a beach or pond nearby you might try experimenting with this option. Please make sure you have a life vest for your dog in these settings even if you think your dog will be fine swimming without one. It is important to keep safety in mind. Start slowly and see how your dog responds.
- Another option is an indoor pool made exclusively for dogs. These kinds of canine specialized aquatic centers are becoming more available as dog owners search or safe places to exercise their dogs throughout the entire year. Do your research and be sure to investigate how these centers introduce dogs to their pools, how often they clean the pools and other details they provide to ensure a safe and fun experience for the dogs.
Our New Partnership with Doggy Paddle
Located in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, Doggy Paddle is a state-of-the-art indoor aquatic center for dogs. They offer four pools that provide swimming sessions for dogs seven days a week.
Here are a few things that make Doggy Paddle so special:
- Perfectly balanced water.
- Their warm, salt-water pools enable a healthy, soothing swimming experience. The salt content of the pools is less than the salinity in our human tears, which makes it comfortable on the eyes and safe on contact.
- Salt is used as a means to work on the organics introduced in the pool in order to maintain peak water quality.
- They use UV light to assist in the water purification process.
- The water chemistry is checked daily to ensure optimal conditions.
We will be taking daycare dogs to Doggy Paddle in our K9U Chicago vans on Wednesdays and Thursday mornings for a swim session. Space is limited and advanced registration is required. All vaccination and medical information for each participating dog will be communicated to Doggy Paddle in advance so they are aware of any existing or special conditions.
There is an additional $30 fee for round trip transportation to Doggy Paddle and the supervised 30-minute swim session. All dogs must be K9U Chicago daycare dogs to participate in the additional swim session option.
Dogs will be introduced to the pools individually to assess their reaction to swimming indoors. After the first session it will be determined if some dogs can swim with other dogs in the same pool in a small playgroup or if they should swim alone with a trained Doggy Paddle instructor.
Pre-Swim Responsibilities and Requirements
As with people – dogs should follow a few simple, but important, requirements beginning to swim.
- Don’t eat immediately before swimming.
- Eliminate waste before entering the water or indoor facility.
- Be sure your dog is current on all required vaccines.
- Notify facility staff of any medical conditions if your dog is swimming under the supervision of trained instructors.
Have a fun summer and try adding dog swimming to your overall exercise routine!