It’s summer time! | Are dogs natural swimmers?

Summer is finally here, the hot weather seems can melt the earth. Therefore, playing with water is a good way to cool off. Many owners believe all dogs are natural swimmers, so they will put their pets into the water directly and let them swim. Although dogs respond by “dog paddling” when they find themselves in the water, if they don’t have swimming experience, being in poor health, or they haven’t swim for a long time, it may cause them to sink, so don’t take the risk to do that.

What should you pay attention to before and after dogs’ swim? Here I will share the suggestion by Dr Teresa (Formerly the Project Manager of the Welfare Department of SPCA) about the precaution of dog swim.


Q1: What should I pay attention to before and after dogs’ swim?

Just like humans, dogs can’t eat too much before swimming. After swimming, you should first feed them water. Don’t feed the food immediately until a short break.

Q2: Are all dogs suitable for swimming to cool off?

In general, dogs like to play with water, but some don’t like water, so the owner must not put them into the water rashly. In addition, dogs with skin diseases are best not to enter the water, because the pool water or seawater is not that clean, it will aggravate the state of an illness. It is best to consult the veterinarian before making a decision.

Q3: Which dogs should pay special attention when swimming?

Older dogs, dogs with a pushed-in nose or has a weak heart should pay special attention to. Dogs with a pushed-in nose normally have weak respiratory tracts. These dogs are best to take a break every 5 to 10 minutes.


Q4: Do dogs need to wear life jacket when swimming?

After the dog jumps into the water, they will start “dog paddling”. If you go to the beach, most of them like to play with water and surf on the shore, so it is not a big problem without wearing a life jacket. If they swim in the pool, there may be no stairs at the pool and you need to carry them up. The most important thing is that the owner should always look after them and don’t walk away.

Q5: What should I do if they drink the pool water or sea water?

When they swim, most of the time they will put their head over the water, so they will only drink a few mouthfuls of water occasionally. Only when the dog drowns, they will drink a lot of water, so the owner should pay attention to them, don’t let them get drown.


There are many benefits to dog swimming, including improved cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, cooling off, improve the relationship with owners etc.

Let’s take your dog swimming!