Have you ever thought about taking your dog swimming? Is your dog one of those who loves water and enjoys every stream and swamp you go to? Swimming for dogs not only offers them great fun, but it also has a lot of benefits for them, and not just physical ones.
Swimming is undoubtedly a different way of exercising, both for people and for animals. In addition, in the warmer months, it is much more comforting for everyone and is enjoyed twice as much. But, what if we tell you that it is also an activity that improves the health of your furry? Swimming is a form of exercise that has much less impact on the joints, making it much more advisable than running.
What are the benefits of swimming for dogs?
Swimming is an aerobic exercise and, as such, it has all the advantages that characterize it on a physical and cardiovascular level. Floating reduces shock and stress on the joints, making movements smoother than exercising on land. It is especially recommended for dogs with overweight, osteoarthritis, movement difficulties, or in the recovery phase after an orthopedic operation.
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Physical benefits of swimming for dogs
- Strengthens bones
- Increases muscle tone
- Improves motor coordination
- Improves motor agility
- Increased stamina.
- Helps to lose weight and maintain it
- Produces less tired feeling during exercise
- Buoyancy reduces the impact on the osteoarticular system.
- 1 minute of swimming equals 4 minutes of running
- Improves respiratory capacity
- Improves cardiovascular condition
- Supports heart health
Swimming for dogs is therapeutic
This activity is also good for your furry’s mind and well-being:
- Provides great fun
- It is relaxing and refreshing.
- Helps release energy.
- Fight anxiety
- Reduce stress
- It favors socialization.
- Increase confidence.
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In addition, it is recommended as a treatment for problems in the musculoskeletal system:
- Muscle generation
- Cruciate ligament tear
- Hip dysplasia
- Orthopedic surgery
Contraindications of swimming for dogs
- Severe or very advanced osteoarthritis. It can cause more pain and wear and tear on your joints.
- Heart problems. Swimming can be too strenuous.
- Water is not recommended when there are wounds or injuries on the skin.
- Digestive problems. Movement can induce vomiting or diarrhea.
There is an alternative to swimming that can help in cases where it is a too strong exercise for dogs. It is hydrotherapy, a recommended treatment for older dogs or those with mobility problems. In this case, the dogs also perform exercises in the water but with the support of a floating vest, an underwater belt, or a therapist so that they do not have to make so much physical effort or make sudden movements that harm them.
If your dog has never swum or practiced this exercise, you should start out gently and not over-demand. At first, it will last for only a few minutes, but over time you will be able to swim much longer and enjoy it twice as much. But first of all, you have to familiarize yourself with the water in shallow areas until you feel safe. If your dog does not like water, do not force him to practice this sport and choose a more suitable option for him.
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If you want to know where to take your dog for a swim, take a look at our article on dog pools. Although, if you prefer to enjoy this activity in a more natural environment, you better know the different natural pools where you can bathe and have a great day.