Bathing and swimming in the cool water is a real change and joy for many dogs. There are a few rules to keep in mind so that this pleasure remains a lot of fun.
A sharp change in temperature of ten degrees and more puts a heavy strain on the dog’s circulation. Before letting your dog swim in the cool waters, sprinkle them with water or walk them a few meters through shallow water to allow their feet to cool and the body to rearrange.
If your dog wears flea and tick collars, he should not go swimming, because these release their active substances into the water and should therefore “stay outside”. Even if you have powdered your dog against parasites or treated it with a spot-on, it is only allowed to go swimming eight hours later. Also, make sure he’s done his business before going for a swim. Unlike us humans, he will not pollute the water with urine or feces, but his bladder and intestines should be emptied when he does his swimming laps.
Don’t let your dog swim in deep water right away. Many dogs panic when they can no longer feel the ground beneath their feet. So always start the bathing lesson in shallow water through which the dog runs like a Kneipp cure. This gets his circulation going, relieves the joints and gives him security. Let him decide for himself whether he wants to swim freely or even dive. But never force him. You should also hold the ball that you throw to encourage the dog to play near the shore.
All dogs on the deck of a sailing or motor boat should be provided with a life jacket. This special vest has to fit exactly so that the dog cannot slip out.
The life jacket is also a must for large dogs. © shutterstock.com / InBetweentheBlinks
In luminous paint, it has proven itself, because if the dog actually goes overboard, you can see the dog even if it is aborted. Even dogs that are not yet experienced in swimming, very young and old as well as not entirely healthy animals can be protected with a life jacket – in case they lose their strength while bathing.
Swimming is healthy for the dog, but it is also very physically demanding. Dogs don’t always show clearly that they are exhausted. You just keep paddling. You know your dog best. You have to see that his movements become slower, that the head is no longer proudly lifted out of the water, but with difficulty, that the swimming flow comes to a standstill. Then stop bathing and help the dog out of the water. And prepare yourself for the fact that the next day he will have a lot of sore muscles. No dog should stay longer than ten minutes in water that is less than ten degrees plus, otherwise the dog’s body will cool down.
Never take your eyes off your dog while swimming. Because streams, rivers and canals that have strong currents are treacherous, just like the sea. In rivers that have a weir or steep bank (even at a great distance), dogs should not swim as a matter of principle, because they drift away too quickly and cannot leave the water on their own on steep banks. When the tide is out, keep an eye on the dog. If he swims too far out in the shallow mudflats, call the dog over. By the way: surfing in the surf, as can often be seen on the Internet, is only a real pleasure for very few dogs. And sea water that is swallowed too much spoils even the toughest dog’s stomach.
A really wet dog will shake itself vigorously immediately after swimming – not always pure pleasure for two-legged bathers nearby. It is better if the dog goes ashore after swimming where he can at most shower off you and other dogs. If possible, you should rinse it off again, because sea water and polluted fresh water leave traces on the skin. If that doesn’t work, rub it dry completely and buy the dog a bath at home. Do not feed the dog immediately at home, but rather offer him something to drink first. After a break, you can get the power food you deserve after so much bathing fun.