Most dogs, save a few timid and a few less buoyant breeds, love the water. Swimming not only provides dogs with stimulation and entertainment, but, much as it is for human beings, it is an excellent source of cardiovascular exercise for them and has many far reaching and long-term health benefits. In this article, we’re looking at the five top benefits of swimming for your furry friends:
It combines exercise and play. Most dogs, especially those bred for a specific purpose like hunting or herding other animals, have considerable amounts of energy, even more so when they are young. They need outlets for that energy or they can become bored and destructive. Dogs not only get the energy release they need from swimming, but they clearly enjoy themselves and get pleasure from doing it.
It’s tiring. Most wild dogs finish each day exhausted. They travel long distances and are constantly on the alert which burns a lot of energy. The exercise requirements of many domestic dogs, however, are not filled to that extent. Swimming is yet another avenue to ensure that happens. A tired dog is a dog that will sleep soundly and a healthy amounts of rest is as important for dogs as it is for any other animal.
It provides stimulation. Dogs are intelligent animals, some more so than others, and they require certain amounts of mental engagement in order to feel fulfilled and live happy lives. For dogs that love the water, the novelty of the experience tends to provide just that sort of stimulation. Incorporate some games that involve fetching and jumping and you are doing a lot to ensure your dog is both stimulated and getting a workout.
It can lower their body temperature in the hotter months. Dogs do not sweat, they pant. A panting dog is a dog who is trying to cool down. Staying hydrated is important to any mammal trying to control their body temperature, but so is being submerged in water. When an animal in the wild starts to feel overwhelmed by the heat, they cool themselves down in this way all the time and it is no different for your domestic dog. A dip in the pool will help them maintain a comfortable internal temperature when the weather gets sweltering.
Make sure your dog is safe. Even dogs bred for swimming, if they haven’t had a lot of experience in and around the water, are just like humans: they get nervous. If your dog seems hesitant to get in the pool, try enticing him or her with a treat. Be patient and and make it a pleasant experience and your dog will grow to love the activity. For dogs who can’t swim, there are plenty of dog life-jackets on the market to ensure their safety.
Exercise in the pool can be a great compliment to the routine walks or time in the park you spend with your dog, or even an alternative if it is just too hot to go anywhere. Your dog will appreciate both the physical and mental exercise, and you can take pleasure knowing that you are caring for and raising a happy, healthy canine.