Although adult dogs know how to swim, puppies don’t. It doesn’t come naturally to them. A puppy needs your help on how to swim, or it may lead to an accident.
The following tips will give you an idea of how to familiarize and teach your puppy how to swim.
Learn more about your puppy
Several dog breeds can naturally take to the water and may enjoy swimming. Retrievers, Setters, and Spaniels are an example. But some breeds, such as Pugs or Bulldogs, needs round the clock supervision anywhere around water. The latter is not the best of swimmers; they can also drown easily due to their respiratory build up.
In many instances, puppies don’t like swimming and its not advisable to force them to go into the water if they are afraid of it.
Do so gradually
What you can do to introduce your puppy to swimming safely is starting from scratch. You can fill a kiddie pool with water that will first reach the joint on your puppy’s front leg. You can then toss a toy in or get in yourself to encourage him to get in too. As he begins to get used to the water, you can then work your way up to a larger pool, a lake, and even the ocean.
Most importantly, do not throw your puppy into the pool. Puppies just like children do not like “sink or swim” is not a fun game.
Let your pup wear a life vest
Let your puppy wear a life vest as this will boost your pup’s confidence. Not to mention keeping him safe. Some breeds have to wear a life vest for the rest of their lives because of their inability to swim.
Since puppies are very people-oriented, when they see you and your family is having a blast in the water, he would likely follow. Furthermore, puppies need you on their side for encouragement for the first few swims they will make.
It may also be fun for the rest of the family to play your pup’s favorite game to make him feel at ease when in the water. You can do this in the shallow end of the pool before venturing to deeper water.
It is also essential that the water should be at a comfortable temperature.
Pique his interest
Bring your puppy at the park or a place where there are dogs swimming, This will pique his interest and would come to understand that swimming is part of life.
Make water fun
Some dogs don’t like water because of previous experience. They will associate water as negative. Therefore, it is best to safely introduce your puppy to water at an early age possible.
You can also set up a sprinkler or put a bowl of water, to let your puppy play on it.
Lastly, have fun. Praise your puppy for each step taken to be in the water. You can give lots of attention and toys. Make the experience as fun as possible to reinforce this water-loving instinct.