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Teaching Fido To Swim

July 15, 2022

Summer is officially here! This time of year can get pretty hot here in the southwest. Many people like to beat the heat by going swimming when they can. Fido also likes going for a dip. Of course, while some dogs are natural swimmers, others must learn how to maneuver through water. A Roswell, NM vet discusses teaching your canine pal how to swim in this article.

Supervise The Pup

Rule number one? Keep a very close eye on your canine buddy when he’s around water. Even if your pup is a natural swimmer, there’s still always a chance of an accident. If you are at a beach or lake, work on his training there as well. You don’t want him to try and swim after a duck that’s way offshore, or jump into a river!

Check With Your Vet

Not all dogs are cut out for swimming. Brachycephalic dogs should definitely stay out of the water, though they can wade or play in kiddie pools. Very small dogs also are best staying on land, as are many seniors. Check with your vet before taking Fido to the water.

Don’t Force It

Even if your vet gives the all-clear, you’ll still need to consider your furry buddy’s opinion. Some dogs just don’t like the water! If Fido is scared, don’t force him. He may come around once he gets used to it. Or, he may just be a landlubber at heart. That’s perfectly fine as well!

Keep It Fun

You want Fido to enjoy his experience near water. Petting and praising him will go a long way here. Keep that tail going!

Choose Safe Areas

Be sure to pick a swimming hole that isn’t very deep. If you don’t have a pool with a shallow end, pick a pet-friendly spot that has a gradual slope. Avoid areas that have heavy wakes, strong currents, and/or steep drop-offs.


When your pooch gets out of the water, his paw pads will be very delicate. This means he can easily get burns or blisters by running around on hot or harsh ground. Use paw balm to protect those furry feet!


When it comes to Fido’s safety, you always want to err on the side of caution. Pick up a doggy lifejacket for Fido!

Is your canine companion due for an exam? Contact us, your Roswell, NM veterinary clinic, anytime!