We’ve covered how to safely swim with Fido and your four-legged friends in the past—but how do you make your dog comfortable in the water in the first place? Below, we are looking at a few great ways to help your furry friend love the water.
Make the pool a safe, comfortable place for Fido
The first step in getting your dog used to the water is to create a space that he feels comfortable in. Before you even bring him into the water, let him walk around the pool, situate himself on the patio, and observe the water. This step will help him to feel safer and less anxious when it comes time to go swimming.
Guide your dog into the water
Some dogs will happily jump into the water as soon as they get the chance—others, however, will need to be persuaded. If your dog falls into the latter category, invite him into the pool—and avoid simply pulling him in—by greeting him with treats or toys. Let him decide to come into the pool on his own, preferably in a shallow area like the steps so he doesn’t have to start swimming or treading water right away.
Your dog may Know how to swim, but he might be less comfortable than he looks. To make him feel safer, be sure to stick around and support his body if necessary.
Let him swim to the sides
Although it may not seem to make sense, your dog will actually feel more comfortable if he can exit the pool when he wants to—so show him how to exit, using either a dog ramp or your pool’s steps.
Give him a way to stay dry
If your dog is still hesitant to touch the water, he might enjoy getting in if you give him a way to stay dry in the pool. Pick up a sturdy float, for example, that will let him enjoy time in the water with you without needing to get too wet himself.
Don’t force it
Above all, don’t try to force your dog to love the water. While swimming with Fido can be a fun, special activity for the both of you, always keep his comfort at the front of your mind. And besides—you may be surprised at just how well he grows to like the water in time.
We hope these ideas help you enjoy quality time with your four-legged friend in the water this summer. With some time, care and patience, he’ll be loving the water as much as you do in no time!