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Do All Dogs Know How to Swim?


by VetDepot on May 7, 2014

dog in pool blogWith warm spring weather already here and summer fast approaching, many families are starting to spend more time around the water. Splashing around can be a great way to beat the heat, but is it safe to include canine family members in on the fun?

Many people are under the impression that all dogs inherently know how to swim, but this isn’t always the case. While most dogs will naturally begin to doggy paddle if faced with the necessity, that doesn’t mean they can safely keep their head above water for any length of time, nor does it mean they are enjoying the experience.

Breeds that don’t typically make good swimmers include bulldogs, basset hounds, pugs, and Boston terriers. Dogs that are more suitable for swimming include setters, retrievers, and water spaniels.

No matter what breed your dog is, it’s important to keep safety in mind when around water. A doggy life jacket is a good idea for any dog, but especially if your dog is new to the water or isn’t an especially strong swimmer. Never just throw your dog into the water, instead, be sure to support their hindquarters and the middle part of their body until they start paddling and appear calm. Most importantly, whether your dog is a swimming newbie or a veteran, supervision is always necessary.


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