The Benefits of Swimming for Dogs
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs, and it offers a wide range of benefits, including:
Physical Fitness: Swimming provides a low-impact workout that can help improve your dog’s cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and overall fitness. It’s particularly beneficial for older dogs or those with joint issues.
Mental Stimulation: Dogs enjoy water activities, and swimming can be mentally stimulating. It keeps them engaged and provides an opportunity for play and exploration.
Cooling Off: Dogs can quickly overheat in hot weather, and a dip in the pool can be a fantastic way for them to cool down and avoid heat-related illnesses.
Joint Health: Swimming can help alleviate joint pain and stiffness in dogs suffering from conditions like arthritis. The buoyancy of water reduces the stress on their joints.
Weight Management: Swimming is an effective way to help dogs maintain a healthy weight, making it an essential part of a weight management plan.
The Risks of Daily Pool Access for Dogs
While swimming offers numerous benefits, allowing your dog to swim in the pool every day does come with some potential risks:
Chemical Exposure: Just like humans, allergies and skin conditions such as eczema are very common in dogs. The chlorine in salt and mineral pools, along with other pool chemicals, can irritate your dog’s skin, eyes, and respiratory system. If your dog (or indeed a human family member) has a skin condition, it is definitely worth converting your pool to a Naked freshwater pool system, which delivers clean sparkling water no different to regular tap water.
Ear Infections: Dogs prone to ear infections may be at risk when swimming frequently. Moisture in the ear canal can create a conducive environment for bacteria and yeast growth.
Hydration: Excessive swimming can lead to increased water ingestion, potentially causing water intoxication, which can be dangerous for your dog. Excessive amounts of chlorinated water can also lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Once again, installing a Naked freshwater system is a great solution if you can’t stop you dog drinking from the pool.
Skin and Coat Care: Frequent swimming in chlorinated water strips their skin and coat of natural oils, which can cause dryness and itching, fading, and in extreme cases even turn their coat green! To minimize this, we recommend you rinse them thoroughly after each swim to remove chlorine and other chemicals, followed by a moisturizing shampoo. If you have a Naked freshwater system, there is no need to wash your dog after swimming.
Safety Hazards: Always supervise your dog while they swim to prevent accidents, especially if they are not strong swimmers. Pool covers and fences can provide an extra layer of protection.