Swimming With Fido

Do you enjoy swimming? A lot of our canine patients do! Some dogs, like Retrievers, are famous for loving the water. In fact, some breeds even have webbed paws. However, not all of our four-legged buddies take to the water like furry, four-legged ducks. Read on as a London, ON vet offers tips on swimming with your pup.

Benefits of Swimming

Swimming can be a great workout for both people and dogs. Because the water supports Fido’s weight, he can get some activity without putting stress on his bones and joints. In fact, warm-water swims can be an excellent form of therapy for Man’s Best Friend. Swimming is also just plain fun for many dogs!

Should Fido Swim?

As noted above, some dogs are natural swimmers. However, this isn’t always the case. Some will sink in the water, while others are just very scared of it. Small dogs aren’t always good swimmers, in part because they tire out so easily. Brachycephalic pooches, like bulldogs, also aren’t well-suited for swimming. If you aren’t sure whether swimming would be appropriate for Fido, check with your vet. If the answer is no, offer your pup a kiddie pool to splash around in instead.

Swimming Lessons

If your canine buddy can’t swim, it’s definitely worth your while to teach him. Take your time with this! Get into the water with your furry friend, and support Fido while he’s learning. Encourage him with praise and ear scritches.


When it comes to pool safety for dogs, you’ll want to basically follow the same guidelines as you would for a toddler. First and foremost, never leave your canine pal near the water unattended, even for a moment. Also, if you take your pup to a pool, immediately show him where the pool stairs are. This is crucial, as you want to make sure he can get out again if he falls in by mistake. We also recommend fencing off pools when they aren’t in use.


Doggy paw pads are very sensitive, especially when they are wet. Your four-legged buddy can get painful blisters running around on hot or hard surfaces after going swimming. Use paw balm or wax to protect Fido’s feet. Also, rinse your pooch’s fur off when he gets out of the water.

Please reach out to us, your local London, ON vet clinic, anytime. We are happy to help!

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