Swimming is not only fun for your dog…but it also does great things for him. The resistance of water makes your dog work harder to swim than he has to work on land to walk or run. He will show improved muscular strength and tone, while working the cardio-vascular and respiratory systems, without the impact of concussive exercise on land and the associated damage that it may cause.
It may surprise you to know that for a dog, 1 minutes’ swimming is equivalent to about 4 minutes of running, according to Dr Arleigh Reynolds, a Veterinary Surgeon and Canine Physiologist.
Stronger, toned muscles help to protect dogs against injuries sustained during normal exercise, such as running or chasing a ball, or during more demanding exercise such as agility and flyball.
In healthy dogs, swimming should be used in conjunction with other exercise on land to ensure the dogs’ bones are kept strong by sustaining good bone density.
As with any fitness program, you should expect to start gently and increase the exercise over time. Don’t be surprised if your dog only swims for a few minutes or has a few short bursts to begin with. Gradually, as their fitness improves, they will be able to swim longer with fewer rests.
If the pool water is heated the dogs’ muscles won’t take as long to “warm up” which helps relaxation and assists blood flow. It also helps to reduce muscle spasm and improve the dogs’ range of movement. Not to mention, if your dog is not that fond of swimming, the water temperature will make them more comfortable thereby making swimming much more enjoyable. The more they enjoy it, the harder they tend to work, and the more benefit they get from it.
Ready to have you dog go for a swim? Book one with us today and try it out.