Swimming for Dogs
Help your dog take the plunge.
What a fun activity for Fit Dog Friday, even in Canadian Fall and Winter.
At Talent Hounds, we are always looking for fun ways to Be proActive with our dogs. This week we are featuring Fit Dogs training centre. Fit Dogs offers fresh-air, off-leash workouts, and indoor saltwater swimming for beginners, masters, and recuperating dogs. Swimming has been proven to be a very effective way for dogs to get in shape safely.
Fit Dogs’ 8 x 20 ft above ground indoor pool in downtown Toronto could be your dog’s happy oasis in any weather! It has a water depth of 3 ½ ft. It’s heated to approx. 87º F to promote circulation and relax muscles. At the indoor pond, your dog can do laps, fetch, have hands-on support, or be tethered to the poolside to tread water – whatever suits your goals and your dog’s abilities and preferences. A gentle, chemical-free, salt chlorine generator keeps water clean and silky. Wide, rubber-topped ramps allow for safe and gradual entry and exit. K9 life jackets are available for use at no extra charge.
Benefits of Swimming
Just as it is for humans, swimming is a very efficient workout: just 5 minutes swimming = 20 minutes walking! Plus it’s fun!
The benefits of swimming include strengthening heart and lungs, providing an aerobic workout in just a few minutes. and building muscle without stressing joints and ligaments. This is a safe, effective complement to exercise on dry land. Water’s buoyancy makes it easy on joints, tendons and ligaments – allowing dogs to increase mobility, burn fat and build stamina. All ages, shapes and sizes benefit from regular swim sessions. It’s especially suited to overweight, recuperating, and elderly dogs. It’s also great for dogs with hip dysplasia, 3 legs and most physical conditions. For a frail arthritic senior who struggles with moving on land, access to water really is a fountain of youth – she can move her legs without pain or stress. Plus, working and playing with your dog at any age in and around water can be a powerful bonding experience for both of you.
What do you do if your dog isn’t so keen on diving right in?
Not all dogs take to water easily or know how to swim automatically– including some Labs, Porties, or even Newfs. Be safe.
Tips for reluctant swimmers from Tamara
- Be patient throughout each session. Nudge, don’t force or you’ll lose your dog’s trust. If you balk when s/he balks, it’s over. It’ll probably take several outings. Hang in there: with the right approach, most dogs (and their humans!) learn to enjoy it immensely.
- Make it fun for your dog. Your dog loves you and wants to please you – show him how. Use toys, treats, beloved humans or dogs: whatever lures work best for your animal.
- Lifejackets can be helpful for new swimmers or certain breeds like Boston Terriers that may not be very buoyant.
- Work with professionals if available. Book some appointments with a dog pool facility to get everyone started on the right (wet) paw.
- Like any exercise program, regular sessions yield maximum results. Two to three swim sessions a week will do wonders.
To visit Fit Dogs in downtown Toronto and for more information on swim classes click HERE
NB If your dog has a medical or physical condition, please speak to your vet before embarking on a swim or any other exercise program.
Happy Fit Dog Friday! Join the Blog Hop below to find out more great ideas from our fit friends and consider joining PetsMove.org.