Can Dogs Swim and How To Keep Them Safe

We’ve all watched some dog-based show on television where the dog jumps into a river and just starts swimming, whether it’s to cool off, save someone or to reach a destination. Many people automatically assume that dogs can swim, and this is a popular misconception. This is not to say that all dogs can’t swim because while some dogs may swim like fish, others are unable to master the art of swimming.
dog jumps into pool with boots on

Swimming is Not A Given for Dogs

An interesting fact is that even though we may see a dog that looks like he’s swimming in the water, he may not actually be swimming. While they may be doing their own version of a doggie paddle, that’s about all they’re doing, and it may not be enough to even keep them above water for long. Dogs have a natural instinct to paddle when they're in the water. A dog may love walking through puddles or wading in the kiddie’s pool to cool off, but that’s a far cry from swimming.

When it comes to dogs and their swimming know-how, they fit into one of three categories.
  1. Dogs that are natural swimmers
  2. Dogs that can be taught to swim
  3. Dogs that can’t swim because of their anatomy

Dogs Who Can Swim

dog sits near pool with boots on
As a general rule, dogs who have water-resistant coats and webbing between their toes are good swimmers. If they have “water” in their name, you can pretty much assume they’re good swimmers. Then, there is also those that are bred for water sports. Retrievers usually fall in this category. The following dogs are typically good swimmers.
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • American Water Spaniel
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Newfoundland
  • Irish Setter
  • English Setter
  • Schipperke
  • Standard Poodle

Dogs Who Cannot Swim

Certain dogs can swim and some dogs cannot swim regardless of how badly they would like to swim. Some dogs, despite their desire to paddle, are just unable to swim due to certain characteristics in their anatomical structure, such as unusually large heads, short and flat muzzles, flat and broad faces or short legs. An extremely heavy, thick coat can also make it difficult for some dogs to swim. Here are some dogs that generally cannot swim.
  • Pekingese
  • Dachshund
  • Boxer
  • Basset Hound
  • Pug
  • Bulldogs
If your dog really can’t swim, your best bet is to try to keep him or her on dry land. If the dog really appears to enjoy the water, allow him or her to go in shallow water, and monitor him carefully. No reason your four-legged friend can’t also enjoy a dip in the cool summer water!

With the heat from the summer months comes the standard ways to escape that heat, not just for human beings but also for their four-legged friends too. This includes treks to the beach as well as the nearby waterways and hour upon hour of swimming for those fortunate to have a swimming pool. Beaches, lake shores, and riverbeds are beautiful methods to gain access to that cool, rejuvenating water, however they can present some risks not just for people with bare feet, but also for canines with unprotected feet, also. A pups pads can probably tolerate hot sand slightly better than a human’s bare foot, but it can still be very uncomfortable for the doggy. Additionally, there are broken shells and the occasional broken glass shards on the seaside that may cut their pads or poke up between them and cut the paw. Lake shores as well as riverbeds are usually really rocky and will be unpleasant and result in unsure footing for dogs.
2 dogs wearing boots at a lake

How Do We Keep Our Dogs Safe While Swimming?

So how should we protect our pet's feet from all of these summertime dangers? Exactly the same way we protect our very own feet – with dog boots! Suppliers of canine “paw wear” make breathable, nylon-mesh boots that have a great solid rubber sole. Booties like this are excellent, not merely for hiking and trail running, but for activities at the beach, lakes, and bumpy streams. When your dog is sporting booties like this, the protective soles keep his paws from getting too hot on seashores or even walk ways and pavement. They will additionally prevent broken glass, shells, and sharp rubble from cutting or abrading the paws. They can be worn right in to the water simply because they are made of mesh material.

Can I Let My Dog In My Pool?

When it comes to your canine swimming laps in your pool, his feet are most likely safe. Also, most people will tell you that chlorine is safe at the levels used in pools. Humans swim in it and occasionally will ingest some water accidentally without great harm. But the liner of your pool may incur the greatest harm as its not really protected from these sharp claws as your dog climbs his way out of the swimming pool. Dog boots may be worn in the swimming pool. They are ideal for dogs who are cutting their pads as they jump from the pool deck into the pool. But for a lighter bootie, you may want to try Pawz brand disposable dog shoes. This type of boot is made of rubber and may be tossed away at the first signs of wear. For next time, simply pull another set out of the package. They are fantastic for protecting the pool liner as well as paws. Pawz booties fit your pet's foot like a cozy pair of socks, and offer complete range of motion. To find Pawz Dog booties click here

We have a variety of booties to keep your pups paws secure and healthy through all the summer fun. They are the perfect way to safeguard Fido’s paws from heat as well as sharp objects, not to mention preserving the sides of the pool and the seats in your boat. To view a complete selection of our water booties click here
dog standing next to pool with boots on
Rusty's wears dog boots in the pool for several reasons. The entire family is thrilled that they can all spend time in the backyard and swim together! Rusty is wearing is wearing Ultra Paws. Find them here

  1. The children are no longer getting scratched
  2. The pool liner is protected from further damage
  3. Rusty isn't hurting his paw pads jumping in and out of the pool
  4. The entire family is happy because Rusty is wearing his booties