Can Dogs Swim? (In Pools? Ponds? Underwater? Solved!)

Can Dogs Swim

Every dog has their quirks and personality, but they all have in common that they love to swim. So even if you don’t live near a beach or some other body of water, there are plenty of ways for your pup to enjoy some quality time splashing around. But wait!

Can Dogs Swim?

We can’t forget the first rule of any backyard pool: always supervise! If you’re not able to stay close by at all times, your furry friend should stick on land. There are also many pet-friendly beaches and pools where dogs can go swimming with their owners without worry!

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Can Dogs Swim Naturally?

Your dog doesn’t need lessons, but if you’re planning on throwing your four-legged friend into a pool, pond, or even the ocean, make sure they know how to swim. 

While it’s not recommended that you throw your dog in the water and hope for the best (to say you were “surprised” when they couldn’t swim is just cruel), each dog has their own personality, so don’t assume that just because they’re not a “natural” in the water, they can’t enjoy it!

Not All Dogs Can Swim

Unfortunately, some dogs were born without an affinity for swimming. If your pooch falls into this category, don’t stress! You can still take them to the beach or let them play in a kiddie pool. If you’re concerned and want to be 100 percent sure your dog can swim, get in the water with them and see how they react.

How Can I Train My Dog to Swim?

Luckily there are plenty of ways for your pup to get in on the action. So if you’re interested in dog-paddling, check out these tried and true methods:

1. Swimming lessons! Like humans, some dogs take to swimming better than others and may even need a little help getting started.

Luckily there are plenty of swim instructors who can give your pup a few lessons to get them in the water.

2. Doggy Paddle Boards! Just like a paddleboard for humans, these are boards your dog can ride on to kick up their legs and swim around without too much effort from you!

You can use one of these boards with or without a human friend, so they’re perfect for everyone in the family!

3. Life Jackets! Just like the doggy paddle boards, life jackets are another way to get your dog in on the water action without all of the work.

There are many different types of life jackets (for both dogs and cats!), but there are also ways you can make your own at home if needed!

4. Doggy Boats! Although technically not a “do it yourself” method, doggy boats are another great way to get your dog to enjoy water-related playtime.

These are small boats that you can take to the beach or pond with you and provide a stable surface for your pup to stand on while they paddle their way out to sea (or at least a good bath).

Can Dogs Swim Underwater?

Some can; some can’t! Just like humans, not every dog has the ability to take a dip in waters that are deeper than their height.

If you’re wondering if your dog can swim underwater or dive deep below the surface, it’s best to get them in the water and watch their reaction.

Keep in mind that dogs can get water in their ears and lungs, so make sure to supervise them at all times. You’ll also want to make sure they know how to swim or have a way out if they tire themselves out too much!

Can Dogs Swim In Pools?

Pools can be tricky to swim in for dogs because the dogs occasionally get the experience of swimming in pools. Pools are typically pretty small, so dogs can only paddle around in circles in them, but if your dog knows how to swim, this isn’t much of an issue.

Most dogs know how to swim, so if you throw them in a pool and they start doing their doggy paddle thing around the perimeter, there’s no need to jump in after them!

If their swim is a little less graceful, make sure there’s a way for your pup to get out if they tire too quickly and don’t have any other floaters to help.

Which Can’t Dogs Swim?

There are some breeds of dogs that don’t swim! Some smaller dog breeds may not always enjoy the water.

If you’re worried about your pup’s ability to get in on the fun, you can always talk to a professional about their swimming skills.

Do not let your toy breed dogs swim without a helping hand because it can be life-threatening, and for dogs that do not have prior swimming experience, it can also put them in danger.

Moreover, bulky dogs and paralyzed or those not medically fit should not be provided this chance.

Can Dogs Swim In The Ocean?

If your dog is not a strong swimmer, you should keep them out of the ocean for safety reasons.

Even if they are good swimmers, the waves can be an issue because it’s hard to see what’s lurking under the surface!

Some dogs enjoy playing in the surf, but it’s best to stick to a pool or lake unless your pup knows how to stay close by when you’re in the ocean.

Can Shih Tzus Swim?

Yes, Shih Tzus can swim!

It is not as easy as it seems because they might drown if you carelessly throw them in the water.

These dogs love to swim, and playing around pools and ponds has become their favorite activity.

If your dog tries to play or run towards the water, you should provide security and supervision.

This dog breed is just like any other dog breed that can swim or not, so you should always think twice before throwing your Shih Tzu in the water without supervision.

Can Terriers Swim?

The Terriers are typically not excellent swimmers.

These are very docile dogs that are also very active, making it hard to keep afloat.

If you throw them in the water without any supervision, they might drown because these dogs don’t know how to swim.

However, there is one specific breed of terrier that usually comes to mind:

The Irish water spaniel is a very active and known breed of dog that loves the water and can swim quite well.

As you can see, it depends on each dog, so always make sure they have proper supervision while swimming in any body of water.

Small Dogs That Like To Swim

Small dogs that like to swim typically have a lot of energy and love to play around.

Here’s a list of some small dogs that like to swim.

  • American Water Spaniel
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel “Cavapoo”
  • Beagle
  • Poodle

Can Dogs Swim In Chlorine?

Just like it is dangerous for kids, dogs will have a tough time with chlorine.

Most dogs don’t go into a pool that much because they have their yard to play in and only want to get in when they’re playful.

So if you do decide to take your pup swimming, make sure it’s somewhere they can have a lot of fun, but not so much where the chlorine will be harmful.

Can Dogs Swim In Cold Water?

When it comes to swimming in cold water, your dog’s breed will determine what the outcome may be.

Some dogs love playing in the snow, while others don’t feel too comfortable with it. If you’re going to take your pup out for a swim in a pool or pond that’s a little colder than usual, make sure to keep an eye on them in case they’re not enjoying it.

If they don’t act normal, do not force them into the water because cold water can also be dangerous for your pup.

Can Dogs Swim In Saltwater Pools?

Saltwater pools are not healthy for dogs because their skin is susceptible.

Even if you think your dog will enjoy it, you should not let them swim in saltwater because it can cause dehydration and other health-related issues.

The same goes for humans who have sensitive skin too!

However, saltwater is better than chlorine because it’s not so harmful to your dog’s skin.

Can Dogs Swim In Lakes?

Yes, dogs can swim in lakes and ponds as long as they gradually enter the water.

Lake water is not harmful, but it all depends on your dog’s breed and personality, so they don’t mind swimming in it.

This also applies to human beings because some people love the way they feel when they’re submerged in saltwater, and some don’t.

Can Dogs Swim In Rivers?

Dogs can swim in rivers as long as it has a gradual entry to the water as well.

However, be aware of the surroundings because river water can be harmful depending on what’s around them, such as rocks and other sharp objects that might hurt your dog’s paws.

Can Dogs Swim In Ponds?

Yes, dogs can swim in ponds, but they should have a gradual entry to the water.

Most dogs that love to swim will enjoy ponds because it’s just like them in their backyard!

It’s also good for their health and gives them time to exercise.

However, be aware of the surroundings because some ponds are not safe for dogs to swim in.

Why Swimming is Good For Dogs

From calming anxiety to building muscles, swimming has numerous positive benefits for both you and your dog. If you’re looking to get in some playtime with your furry friend, consider trying out one of these fun games:

  • 1. Catch! Although the classic game of fetch is a popular way to get active with your dog, there’s no stopping the fun when you add water. Swimming is an excellent workout for both of you, and it’ll help build up his muscles while at the same time improving strength and coordination.
  • 2. Water Polo: Your dog will love fighting over the floating ball in this exciting take on the classic water polo game. Play with a partner or have fun retrieving the ball on your own to increase his stamina and strength.
  • 3. Doggy Paddle: This competitive game is sure to get you both excited! If you’re looking for a way to improve speed, coordination, and balance, try racing against your dog in this version of the classic swimming competition.
  • 4. Noodle Races: Put him in a life vest, strap on some noodles, and get ready for an aquatic adventure! This game is all about him trying to stay afloat while racing against you to reach his destination. It’s a great exercise for both of you since it’ll increase your dog’s endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance.