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Swimming in dogs – is it really healthy for every dog?

Schwimmen beim Hund - ist es für jeden Hund gesund? Erfahre hier, was beim Schwimmen passiert und wann es für deinen Hund tabu ist!

Many dog people think it is a great activity for any dog to be able to swim in the summer. It is refreshing and after all, the dog does not carry its entire weight in the water. So it MUST be great for the joints.

But be careful!

But first, what happens when you swim?

  • The dog must work against the water resistance.
  • Hydrostatic pressure increases the pressure on the chest.

What does this mean for the dog? Dog swimming

  1. Working against water resistance is very strenuous for the dog’s cardiovascular system, but also for the musculoskeletal system.
  2. Natural waters are usually quite cold, which additionally provides an increase in heart rate. In the case of cardiovascular disease, this quickly leads to severe overload.
  3. The hydrostatic pressure acting on the chest makes breathing difficult. For dogs with diseases of the respiratory system, this must be observed.

Swimming is not suitable for every dog Swimming in dogs

Based on the above, I recommend not swimming if you have cardiovascular disease. Care should also be taken with older dogs, as they often suffer from under-recognized heart disease.

Furthermore, swimming should be avoided in dogs with diseases of the respiratory system.

In which musculoskeletal diseases is swimming harmful?

Elbow disorders and knee disorders – since not all dogs have clean and coordinated swimming movements, there is a high risk of unphysiological stress on the joints here. In the case of elbow dysplasia or cruciate ligament rupture, for example, this should be avoided. Swimming in natural waters should therefore be avoided at all costs.

Spinal diseases – swimming is unsuitable, especially for diseases of the cervical spine such as canine wobbler syndrome. Because the dog has to keep his head up, the neck and neck muscles are strongly stressed and the pressure on the spine is increased. Also, in general, with back diseases such as spondylosis, cauda equina compression syndrome or herniated disc, rather caution is advised, because the pressure on the transition from the lumbar spine to the sacroiliac joint is also intense. Therefore, I rather advise against it. If you do not want to do without it in your dog. he should necessarily wear a life jacket that keeps the back horizontal.

By the way, your dog should also avoid swimming in case of fever and infectious diseases, open wounds and inflammations.

Even if your dog is (young and) healthy, I recommend you make sure he always takes enough breaks to avoid exhaustion or even waterboarding.

My tip for you: If your dog is not allowed to swim for health reasons, treading water is a great alternative for him!

Is your dog a water rat or does he prefer to run around every puddle? Feel free to tell me in the comments!

All the love, your Tina

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