There are many different causes for a dog’s fear of the water. It might be something they’ve never done before, the water might feel weird under or on their paws. Your pet may not have had a good experience with water in the past. Alternatively, it’s possible that they were forced to get wet before they were ready. The first step in helping your dog overcome any prior bad associations it may have had with the water is to aid you if your dog seems terrified of the water and you are unsure of what to do about it. Once your pet is at ease enough to take a bath or go swimming without anxiety, you can progressively acclimate it to water.
Guidelines For Assisting Your Dog Overcome Its Fear of Water
There are two guidelines that every dog owner should follow once they have established their dog’s aquaphobia:
Avoid Pressuring Your Dog to Enter the Water.
Nothing is worse than making a dog take a wash or go swimming against their will. You’ll only achieve the opposite result if you do it that way. Only through mutual understanding, trust, and a lot of patience can you assist your furry friend.
Never Attempt to Trick Your Dog.
Tricking a dog is also not advised because doing so would just make them distrust you. Dogs are highly social and clever animals that retain negative prior experiences.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe While Swimming
You might not be aware of the risks swimming poses to your dog. Before commencing swimming lessons for your dog, keep the following in mind:
Temperature of Water
Never let your dog swim where you wouldn’t feel comfortable swimming so.
On chilly days, make sure to immediately dry off your dog as well. Canines risk dying from hypothermia if this is not done. Puppies who are overactive and excited are more inclined to dive into the water than older dogs, which could make them more susceptible to hypothermia.
Little or toy breeds with fine hair or short hair coats, such as papillons, Havanese, Maltese, and Italian greyhounds, become chilly very quickly. These dogs are prone to hypothermia, which can make them tremble, thrash, or become frightened while submerged. If your dog becomes hypothermic, take them to the clinic straight away.
Long-term swimming in dogs may cause overhydration, nausea, and, in rare cases, electrolyte abnormalities. Reduce the length of your swimming sessions and make them play with little toys like soft discs to keep water out of their mouths.
Give your dog plenty of fresh water to drink to prevent it from getting sick from the chlorine in a swimming pool. Make sure there are no dangerous algae or creatures like toads present before allowing your dog to swim in a natural body of water. Give your dog a bath with a moisturizing shampoo after swimming since some pool chemicals can be drying to a dog’s skin.
Bear in mind that dogs, like people, can be impacted by ocean currents. Your dog can get wounded attempting to get the ball if you throw it into the waves while staying on the beach.
Dogs have skin as well as fur, so keep that in mind. Apply plenty of pet-specific sunscreen, taking special attention to sensitive pink noses, light-coated dogs, and hairless breeds.
What to Do When Your Dog Is Afraid of the Water?
1. Introduce a Dog to Water Gradually.
It is advised to first sprinkle the dog a few times if you are representing him with a lot of water for the first time.
You can accomplish it by engaging in activities he enjoys while playing near water. It might be playing fetch or running, for instance.
2. Bring Your Dog’s Preferred Treats.
We are all aware that a dog’s primary teaching tool is food. Giving a dog treats is like a human having their first cup of coffee.
So why not give it a try? By utilizing praising words and rewards, try to help your dog feel secure and at ease around the water.
If you see that a dog continues to behave suspiciously and takes the treat before backing up a few paces, don’t be shocked. It indicates that there is still some uncertainty for him.
3. Say Kind Things to Your Dog.
Every dog enjoys hearing compliments from his owner because they let him know that he accomplished something right. Dogs are social creatures who enjoy feeling a person’s support.
4. Bring Your Dog’s Preferred Toys.
Dogs enjoy playing with toys, and they tend to have a particular toy that they prefer.
Bringing along his favorite toys when bathing or swimming will help your four-legged pal unwind.
5. Think About Purchasing a Kiddie Pool.
Before exposing a dog to large water surfaces, kiddie pools are a much better option. Installing a kiddie pool in your yard is advised, followed by some impromptu playtime there.
6. Purchase a Sprinkler.
Nothing beats cooling yourself in a yard with water on a hot summer day. Your dog will adore it, we’re positive of that.
7. Gradually Bring Your Dog to the Water.
It’s time to get the water after your dog is comfortable around it. He might leap without hesitation and realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Another possibility is to gently lower a dog into the water while holding him in your hands.
If a dog jumps out of the water too quickly, it’s best to give him treats and go over the lesson again after he calms down.
8. Purchase a Dog Life Vest.
It’s crucial to purchase a life jacket to keep your dog from drowning because some canines aren’t the best swimmers.
Even if the dog is wearing it, it’s still best to keep an eye on him as he swims. Keep in mind that he is easily thrown off balance by fear.
9. Bring Your Water-loving Dog Along.
If a dog observes another dog enjoying fun, he will be more inclined to enter the water himself. Therefore, as it will undoubtedly be a great lesson, you might think about taking your friend’s dog swimming.
10. Give Your Dog a Rainy-day Runabout.
Why not let your dog run or stroll through the rain? You will be one step closer to introducing him to water if you do that. He will undoubtedly like playing fetch when it softly rains!
The Benefits of Swimming for Dogs
Swimming has several health benefits for your dog’s body in addition to being a terrific exercise. Swimming may be the ideal activity for a dog with sore joints and arthritis to engage in.
A dog that is pleasantly exhausted will be less likely to cause messes in the house, which is another nice truth. He’ll sleep for a very long time after enjoying himself at the beach.
Since our dogs are unable to shed their fur, they will be quite appreciative of the cooling effect on their furry bodies. Nothing beats swimming on a hot summer day, you have to admit.
Always move in a gentle, steady, and force-free manner in the water with your dog in order to maximize his or her chances of success. It is imperative that you work at your dog’s pace, not your own, whenever you are dealing with a problem that is based on fear. It is important that you take your time to ensure that you are doing it correctly so that you and your best buddy can have many years of wonderful times spent together participating in water-based activities.