What? In October!? Fall is the perfect time to reflect on fun summer days. At All About My Dog, we’re still celebrating the successful launch of our summer outings program. Without a doubt—swimming lessons for your dog were a BIG hit!

Here’s what we stressed to our students:

Dogs need to be in good physical condition to enjoy water sports

  • Guess what? Swimming is a fantastic way to get that pleasantly plump pooch or perhaps actually overweight dog in shape without over stressing their joints.
  • A regular exercise schedule—swimming, walking and/or running for short distances and building from there—will ensure your dog is in good physical condition. 
  • Keep your expectations reasonable. Start with short swims. Don’t expect your pal to tackle those ocean waves if she weighs 4 pounds or is just learning how to swim.
  • Feed your dog a healthy diet. Remember while your dog is exercising, supplement with protein-packed treats.

Life jackets! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • Not all dogs can swim. Some dogs take to the water like fish! Others need more encouragement to love water sports.
  • Life jackets are a MUST for dogs learning how to swim. When fitted properly, a life jacket will condition your dog to use its back legs to swim.
  • Life jackets are a MUST when swimming in unfamiliar places, in fast-moving or rough water, like oceans and rivers, and on boats, kayaks and paddle boards.
  • Life jackets ensure buoyancy and visibility. A swimming dog should look like an alligator in the water, with its back visible above the surface.

Long Leashes! Also, Yes!

  • A 20, 30 or 50 foot leash gives you the peace of mind to know that your dog can enjoy water activities AND return when you call.
  • Long leashes are ESSENTIAL for dogs swimming in unfamiliar terrain and in strong currents.
  • At All About My Dog, we sell long leashes made of lightweight, waterproof biothane, which is perfect for the task!

Entrances and exits

  • No matter how experienced your dog is, make sure to show him the proper place to enter and exit the water.
  • Entrances and exits are especially important in pools where a dog can easily get confused.
  • A dog that is scratching the side of the pool or climbing on top of a person is a dog in stress. Help your pup by calmly and confidently guiding the dog to the proper exit.

We had a blast teaching your dogs how to swim! See you next year!