Dog swimming: a fun and healthy way to exercise your dog

There's something truly magical about the bond between a dog and their human, especially when it's strengthened through shared adventures in the water. In this blog post, we dive into the world of swimming and training with dogs. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, we explore the benefits of aquatic activities together with our knowledgeable ambassador Emma.

Swimming to keep injuries at bay

Emma has never been happier than when she got her first dog Keyla, a mixed breed between Amstaff and Rottweiler.

“She is my soulmate, my other half. I struggle a lot with mental illness and she have saved me so many times.” – Emma, @workingshitbull

Keyla is 6 years old today, but when she was just 2 years old she got cruciate ligament disease, where the fibers within the ligament around the knees fray and weaken and end up hurting the dog.

Emma’s world came crumbling down, but she did not give up. Not only did she get Keyla a surgery to help the problem, she also started using swimming as a rehabilitation exercise.

“Swimming was one of the biggest impacts in Keyla’s rehabilitation. Even after she was declared healthy, I continued swimming because it is one of the best forms of exercise you can do with your dog.”  – Emma, @workingshitbull

Emma’s second dog, Nefasta, is a 1 year and 5 months old Cane Corso. She started swimming as soon as Emma got her. The swimming is both great fun for the dogs and a way to keep them healthy.

The two dogs, Keyla and Nefasta, sit by the side of the pool wearing their Siccaro Supreme 2.0 drying coats

Even though Emma was originally introduced to swimming because of Keyla’s injuries, what keeps her at it to this day is that it’s a gentle exercise for muscles and joints with visual improvements.

“Before Keyla was only doing like 10 minutes walks, so to see her strengthen herself in the water and use her back legs more and more was a moment of relief that made me cry. Today Keyla is absolutely crazy when she knows it’s time for swimming. She loves is more than anything.” – Emma, @workingshitbull

Indoors or outdoors swimming?

Most dogs swim outside, whether it’s in the ocean or a lake, but there are also indoor options available in many areas. If your dog has been injured like Keyla was, an indoor controlled environment can be crucial. But the wild outdoors also have their own charm in the warmer periods of the year.

Emmas dogs get to do both. The two girls swim at least once a week in an indoor pool, but in the summer they swim outdoors and do it much more often.

The indoor facility is called K9 fitness and is located in Sweden, Täby. Here they offer everything Emma and her dogs could need. They have a pool, a water treadmill, a gym with all possible balance balls and a vibration board.

"The lady who owns the place is super nice and always does her utmost to make everyone happy. It becomes a safe zone when you get there, no pressure to perform which is SO important in my opinion.”  – Emma, @workingshitbull

If you are considering swimming as an exercise for your dog, Emma’s advice is to visit the place first and see if you like the energy of the people around. Having fun is a big part of the success.

Benefits of Dog Swimming and Training

To not only walk your dog, but also swim and train with a purpose in mind can help keep the dog fit throughout life.

Swimming in particular works very well as cardio exercise for dogs, as it builds muscle strength and increases the mobility in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

As it happened with Keyla it is also often the perfect way to help with rehabilitation after an injury or surgery as it helps promote healing and recovery without overworking the dog.

The dog, Keyla, sits with her paws up while wearing her Supreme 2.0 dog drying coat after a swim

How Often Should You Train Your Dog?

How often your dog should train depends on the dog and the breed as well as your situation. For Emma, it has become routine to train every week. Keyla and Nefasta swim at least once a week, use the water treadmill once a week, train with balance balls at the gym once a week and train obedience as well. Other than this they love walks in the forest, sometimes off leash and sometimes with a pullling harness.

It can seem like a lot, but as long as you start off small and make sure to keep an eye out and listen to your dog’s signals, it can end up being great fun for you both. If you ever have any doubts you can always ask your vet to keep yourself informed.

Regular training is known to positively impact both physical and mental well-being in humans as well as dogs. To Emma the improvement has been obvious.

“My girls are in the best shape possible. They are fit, well muscled and have good mobility. No one would guess that Keyla has had two cruciate ligament injuries and surgeries.” – Emma, @workingshitbull

With all the training it is of course also important to rest. Emma’s dogs always have at least one rest day a week, but most often two.

Safety During Swimming

When your dog goes swimming you should always be there and keep your attention on the dog. Keep your eyes out for how the dog holds its back and how they use their legs.

“My biggest problem when Keyla swims is that she swallows a lot of water. It can be dangerous because they can get water poisoning. So she gets a toy to hold, otherwise she ends up swallowing too much water.” – Emma, @workingshitbull
Keyla swimming with a dog toy in her mouth

Safety After Swimming

Keeping safe and warm after swimming is also very important. One of the things Emma always does, it help her dogs stretch after training as well as dry them properly.

When a dog gets wet it can get cold fast, which is not very good for the muscles and ligaments that just became warm from the exercise. To get the dog dry and warm quickly is therefore a good idea to avoid a sudden drop in temperature.

Emma has found the perfect solution for her dogs with the Siccaro drying coats.

“I ALWAYS use the drying coats after any water activities. Swimming, water treadmill or after a bath. Before I had them blow dried and it took soooo much time and even though I did that, they still weren’t 100% dry. With the Siccaros drying coats I save so much time and energy.” – Emma, @workingshitbull

With the super absorbent Wet2Dry-technology the Siccaro drying coats can dry a wet dog in just 15-20 minutes. The fabric is made with bamboo viscose, which also helps reduce any smell of wet dog.

Keyla sits by the side of the pool in her blue Supreme 2.0 dog drying coat from Siccaro
The smart thing about such a drying coat is also that they don’t only dry the fur, but also keep the dogs warm and able to cool down after training with much less risk for injury.

For Emma the coats are especially helpful in winter times, as she walks to and from the training facility which lies an hour away. And with Siccaro there to help there is no wasted time.

“I don’t even have to dry them with a towel first, I just put their drying coats on directly and put them on the vibration board for 20 minutes. When the program is done on the vibration board the girls are dried. It’s mind blowing and so convenient.” – Emma, @workingshitbull

Emma got the Supreme 2.0 drying coat because she loved the clean style, the good fit and the durability of the materials.

“In the past I've tried other drying coats but with velcro over the back, instead of this buckle that Siccaro has, and it got worse after just a couple of uses. In the end, the velcro was so bad that when I snapped, it wouldn't stick. What I love about Siccaro is that everything is quality. Nothing changes over time, everything is exactly as it is the first time you use it. There is nothing on the market as durable as Siccaro.” – Emma, @workingshitbull

You can follow Emma and learn more on her Instagram profile @workingshitbull

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