Are Dogs Natural Swimmers?

Are Dogs Natural Swimmers?

Dog parents across the world love taking their dogs to the pool, beach, or lake to cool down and exercise in the water. Does that mean all dogs are natural swimmers and can your dog swim?

Let’s discuss!

Can all dogs swim?

Some dog body types make it harder for them to swim. Therefore, not all dogs are able to. Some dogs may not even be able to float! For instance, bulldogs and dachshunds have shorter legs and have a weight distribution that makes swimming difficult.

What you can do

Unfortunately, some dogs and dog parents discover their dogs can’t swim when they are already in the water. A way to help is to support their bellies until they figure it out, and if not, remove your dog from deep water.

Do not throw your dog in the water in an attempt to induce “natural instinct” or force a resistant dog. Only dogs who are comfortable can swim. One thing you must note if you have a pool is teaching your dog how to exit if he/she ever falls in.

Safety tips

The best tool for keeping your dog safe around water is a life jacket, ideally one with a handle that you can use to pull your dog to safety. You should still use a life jacket even if your dog knows how to swim. It will help to keep him/her afloat during paddling. The life jacket should also be in a bright color that allows you to easily spot your dog.

Another overlooked safety rule is protection from the sun. Your dog can get sunburnt or overheated, even with a thick coat. Ensure your dog has a shaded area and use dog sunscreen particularly for short and light-colored fur.

You should never allow your dog to play in water that contains algae as it can be dangerous when consumed. Ensure you have your own water on hand in case your dog needs to drink some.

Back to blog