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Teaching Fido to Swim

Does your dog know how to swim? If not, you may want to teach him. It’s always best to err on the side of caution with your canine buddy. There are some things to keep in mind when teaching Fido to swim, however. A New Tulsa, OK vet offers some helpful tips on this below.

Start Shallow

If possible, start in a shallow area. This will help your four-legged get used to being in the water slowly. Even a kiddie pool is a good start. Make sure that Fido is comfortable before progressing to deeper water.

Get The Green Light

Swimming isn’t suitable for every dog. Some pooches, like Retrievers, are natural swimmers, and will likely need little or no help learning to swim. Others will have a much harder time. Small breeds, brachycephalic dogs, and senior pups often have trouble swimming, as they tire out so easily. These guys may be better off splashing in a kiddie pool. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Doggy Lifejacket

We recommend getting a lifejacket for Fido. Have him wear this during his initial lessons, and any time that you are on a boat or near deep water. Better safe than sorry!

Starting Out

Don’t make the mistake of just throwing your dog into the pool. Fido may manage the doggy paddle, but he could also be traumatized by the experience, and could actually end up terrified of the water. Support your furry pal as he is learning, and encourage him by talking to him in a calm, friendly tone.

This Way Out

If you have a pool, show Fido where the stairs are. If he ever falls in by mistake, you want to make sure he can get out again! Spend some time with this training, and make sure your canine pal really absorbs the information.

Training Reinforcement

All dogs should know basic commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. Fido should know these basics before you start teaching him to swim. Once your pooch is comfortable swimming, work on getting him to Stay and Come while he’s in the water. This can come in very handy if he ever starts to swim away, or tries to jump in after you when he shouldn’t!

Is your canine friend due for an exam? Please contact us, your New Tulsa, OK pet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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