6 Safe Places for Dogs to Swim

One of the best ways to get exercise is through swimming. Water provides a low impact way to work through stiff joints or get a real sweat going. If you’re thinking of where you can bring your dog to swim, you’re in luck. Today we’ll give you 6 safe places for dogs to swim.

Dangers for Swimming Dogs

While swimming is a fun activity for everyone, there are still dangers when in the water. Let’s take a look at what dangers you might want to consider and plan for if you are going to swim with your dog.


Drowning is obviously the most pressing danger if your dog is going to be swimming. If they are not already a strong swimmer, you should really consider being in the water with them until they learn how to swim well.

Why is it called “drowning” anyway? Drowning happens when your dog gets water in their lungs even if their head doesn’t dip below the waterline. If you take your dog to the beach and they happen to be sniffing right as the tide comes in, they can breathe water into their lungs without even stepping foot in the water. This can lead to inflammation or infection.

Water Temperature

Swimming while temperatures are high sounds like the best to cool down, but you should consider the water temperature your dog is swimming in. When water temperatures are cooler, your dog will tire out much more quickly. If you and your dog are swimming in cold water, be sure to keep your eye out for signs of exhaustion.

Rip Currents

Rip currents are powerful currents that are perpendicular to the shore. This means that if you or your dog go out in the water and get caught in one of these currents, it can be very hard to get back to the shore. If you are ever caught in a rip current, you must swim parallel to the shore until you get out of the current. Then you will be able to swim back toward the shore.

Fishing Equipment

Another important thing to look out for, especially if your dog will be swimming in rivers, is fishing equipment. If you are taking your dog out on your own fishing trip, be sure to keep an eye on your own equipment. Many dogs wind up at the vet each year because they were sniffing around some fishing hooks and got themselves caught.

If your dog is swimming in a river, it’s possible that they could get tripped up on someone else’s equipment as well. Oftentimes when a fisherman gets their hook stuck on the bottom of the river or on a branch, they just cut their line and get a new hook. The problem is that they then leave the cut section of fishing line in the water or on the shore. These tiny, difficult to see strings are great at catching unsuspecting people or animals. If you are hitting up any common fishing holes, be sure to be on the lookout for leftover fishing equipment.

6 Safe Places for Dogs to Swim

Since we’ve ruled out the dangers you might face while taking your dog out swimming, let’s take a look at ideal places to take your dog.

  • Your own backyard
  • Public swimming pool
  • Dog park pool
  • Public beach
  • An outdoor park
  • A hydrotherapy pool for dogs

Swimming in your own back yard is probably the easiest suggestion, which is if you have a pool. The good news though is that you don’t need to set up a permanent pool with pumps and everything. You can simply grab a cheap kiddie pool, and it will be perfect for your dog to relax in. These small pools are great to cool down in if it’s hot outside. If you do have a permanent pool though, they can be great for teaching your dog to swim well. This can help you prepare for leaving the backyard and maybe hitting some rivers or lakes.

Places like a public swimming pool, a dog park pool, or a public beach may be a little harder to get to. For the most part, you can’t just show up to a public pool with your dog and expect that your dog can swim. This is usually not allowed. But many public pools have special days or times where dogs are invited to join in on the fun. Your public beach probably runs the same way too. Not all public beaches allow animals, so be sure to do your homework before showing up.

Outdoor parks or forest preserves are usually pretty accommodating. During the summertime, many parks have splash pads that are welcoming to pets. Again, just make sure you check before showing up with your dog. And forest preserves usually welcome pets but may have specific leash rules. These rules may complicate swimming but just be prepared so you can follow the rules.

The last suggestion to get your dog in the water is a hydrotherapy center. These places are usually meant for older dogs and can help them work through stiff joints and get some low impact exercise. If you’re interested in getting your dog into hydrotherapy, check online, or talk to your vet to see what they suggest.

Getting your dog in the water can be a fun experience as long as you keep your eyes out for any dangers. Prepare ahead of time and your dog will have an exciting and safe time swimming.

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