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Teach your dog to swim

Swimming may seem natural for dogs, and most love it, but even natural-born swimmers need to be trained. You and your dog can make the most of the summer heat with a few pool safety pointers. Here are some tips for properly teaching Fido to swim and keeping him safe around the pool. American Kennel Club

Building confidence in your dog around the pool is important. Not all breeds are natural swimmers, and even those that are tend to be afraid the first time they enter the water. Be sure to take it slowly in shallow water and praise your dog every step of the way.

Learning the dog paddle. If your dog begins to dog-paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs to help him float. He should quickly catch on and will then keep his back end up.

Don't overdo it. Swimming is great exercise for your dog, but don't let him overdo it. As with any workout, swim time should be increased in small increments. He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.

Exiting the pool can cause your dog to panic. Dogs are not used to using the human stairs or ladder, and will need to be taught how to use them.

Spray your pup down quickly with the hose after he gets out of the pool. This will rinse off the chemicals from the pool water.

Take care of the ears. Dab Fido's ears with a dry towel or use a blow dryer to get rid of excess moisture. Most infections in dogs with floppy ears are caused by too much water and dampness.

Never leave your dog unsupervised while in the pool! Fido may need your help and be unable to bark to grab your attention.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club website at

Teach your dog to swim 08/09/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010 10:54am]
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