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Teaching Your Dog How To Swim

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black lab swimming
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With the summer heat here to stay for a while, going swimming is a good way to cool off, but make sure your dog knows how to swim before heading to the lake or pool.

If you don’t have ready access to a lake, start with a kid’s plastic swimming pool.  Fill the pool with 2-3 inches of water and put in some toys.  Get into the pool and start playing with the toys, and invite your dog to join you.  Be careful not to splash him or force him into the water,  though.

Once he does feel comfortable in the pool, gradually start adding more water each day.  After he is comfortable in the kiddie pool, try testing him in the shallow end of a regular sized swimming pool.  Help him into the pool and support him under the chest and belly when he starts to paddle.

Even after he becomes a good swimmer, it’s a good idea not to let him swim unless you’re there to monitor him. Some dogs will swim to the point of exhaustion, and you don’t want that to happen.

Make sure you mark the exit clearly if your dog is swimming in a pool.  Show him where the pool stairs are and how to exit.

When he’s done swimming be sure to dry him off thoroughly, especially his ears to prevent infection.

Stay cool and have fun!

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