July 16, 2021 5 min read
It may seem like an odd question that pops into your mind while you’re heading down to the beachfront with your dog. Although, don’t be so quick to dismiss this very important thought that involves your dog’s safety.
Most of us have been told that all dogs can swim, this is a common misconception that has been circling the dog community for years! It is suggested that if dogs enter the swimming pool or the sea, they will instinctively start performing the famous doggy paddle, but actually, not all dogs can swim or even like swimming!
While swimming is a fun activity and exercise for most dogs, there are some breeds you need to be aware of that struggle in the water due to their physical characteristics.
Brachycephalic dog breeds have a flat, wide skull shape with short noses close to their face. Their flat faces make it more difficult for them to breathe, making them prone to many respiratory problems as well as heat exhaustion. Their short airways mean they are at a much higher risk of inhaling water than other breeds because they breathe through their mouths.
Brachycephalic dog breeds will try to keep their head above water by tilting their heads back which is a very difficult way of swimming. Their short legs and heavy bodies also make it harder for them to swim because they haven’t got long legs to push their large bodies along.
Some dog breeds have heads that are disproportionately large in relation to their bodies. Breeds with large, heavy heads and a dense bone structure will find it harder to keep their head in an upright position when swimming. Their heads will naturally tilt forward when they are trying to stay afloat, making it more difficult for them to keep their heads above water, and as a result, they are more likely to drown.
While these dog breeds generally find it difficult to swim, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t swim or don’t like swimming. A lot of dogs love to swim and splash about, and it’s a fantastic way to burn energy as well as keeping them cool especially in the summer months!
It’s just these dog breeds need more assistance than other breeds. If you are planning to teach your dog how to swim, they should always have a life jacket to help them stay afloat and keep their heads upright, out of the water. It is also recommended that you should swim with them so you can hold them up and assist them as they paddle.
Alternatively, a small paddle pool in the back garden is just as fun for dogs who are not great swimmers. It keeps them cool during hot weather and they are less likely to drown.
While there are some breeds who are just not physically designed for the water, there are others that are certainly built to be pro swimmers and who love to splash!
These are just a few of the long list of dog breeds that are typically great at swimming. Dogs who have long, powerful legs and coats that are water-resistant are the type of breeds that will race down to the sea and throw themselves in water.
Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, there are a couple of things you should be aware of if you want your dog to join you in the pool or if you take them for a day out at the beach.
It may come as a surprise to many dog owners that not all dogs are physically built to swim because we have all been told that all breeds can. As a dog owner, being well informed about our pups is always beneficial especially when it comes to their safety.
If you’re looking to know more about dog-related safety topics particularly for the summer, have a read of our previous blog on The Signs and Symptoms That Your Dog is Dehydrated. Discover everything you need to know if your dog is dehydrated and how to prevent it in the first place.
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