Tips For Teaching Your Dog to Swim


With summer approaching, its always a good time teaching your dog to swim and enjoy water activities safely. Most dogs do not want to go straight to swimming and prefer to enjoy the water from the shore. Using a product like Lazy Dog Loungers can help give your dog a positive association with water activities and the confidence to swim.  

Taking your dog to a dog friendly beach or starting a new dog sport like dock diving, are the perfect summer activity! Introducing your dog to water slowly and with good experiences will result in a happy dog around water. I always introduce water with me in it, allowing the dog to come to me for a reward. Once my dog is comfortable entering the water I start using a Lazy Dog Lounger. Teaching my dog to jump onto the lounger and then jump off of it into the water. This allows the dog to get further into the water without swimming until they need to swim out. All of my dogs have learned with this method and start to enjoy swimming after only a few sessions. 

On a more serious note, safety around water is something that more dog owners don’t take into consideration. Water Intoxication is a very common and mis-diagnosed issue. Water intoxication dilutes the electrolytes, especially sodium, in the blood. It typically happens when my dog takes in too much water but “too much” Varys from dog to dog. I have had a personal experience with this and thankfully I knew what it was and my dog was able to recover. If your dog is around water, it's important to observe any strange behaviors that might arise. Vomiting, lethargic and excessive drooling are the most common signs. If you’re alone and far from a vet, it's best to induce vomiting and give your dog electrolyte supplements until you can get them to a vet for treatment. 

So this summer, take your dog on an adventure! Spend a day in the sun and teach your pup the joy of swimming and don’t forget your Lazy Dog Lounger!  

Advice from Sara Carson, certified dog trainer, founder of the Puppr Training App, and The Super Collies Mom.


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