Beagles have always been super cute to me, and I’ve been curious about aspects of their care. When it’s summer, I’d like a pet that can swim with me, so I decided to research if beagles can swim.
So, can beagles swim? Some beagles will take to swimming right away, but sometimes there are beagles that just don’t like the water no matter what. They aren’t typically known to love water, but many can still learn to swim. The best way to start a beagle with swimming is to train it when it’s a puppy.
There are a few methods you can try when you train your beagle to swim.
How to Train Your Beagle to Swim
First of all, the best time to teach a beagle how to swim is when it is a puppy. This is because it’s still able and open to learning new things, and you won’t meet as much resistance or difficulty when your dog is still young. For many dogs, swimming may come naturally, but there are some that will need a little extra push.
When you teach your puppy to swim, it can be a good idea to start it with a cute doggy lifejacket. This way there should be no worries of it drowning, and you don’t have to use your hands as constant support as often. It also gives your dog more confidence, and with a rope attached, you can get farther away as it learns.
It’s best to start off in shallow water such as a kiddie pool so that your beagle can get used to the feeling and start to grow in confidence.
Eventually, you can take them out to water that is deep enough where their feet don’t touch the bottom. Stay calm so it doesn’t get overexcited. An overexcited or anxious dog can make mistakes, especially if it gets water in its nose. Speaking in a calm voice can help with this as well.
After your dog is used to the water and doesn’t get nervous, it will usually be able to start swimming on its own, and you can simply stay nearby and keep an eye on it.
Sometimes, your dog will start off by only paddling with its front two feet. This can cause it’s back end to sink and your beagle will tire a lot more easily. Stick with them until they start using all four of their paws.
It can take several sessions if your dog is not a natural swimmer, so it’s good to not get frustrated if it doesn’t pick it up right away because you can always try again another time.
It’s important that it starts the proper habits early, however, so that it doesn’t swim poorly when it gets older and bigger. Just like with people, starting off right will give a dog a much better advantage for when it gets to later in life.
“Test his confidence by tossing a toy or treat a little bit away from you… If he stares at it longingly you still have some work to do.”-Beagles Unlimited-
Another good thing to do is to use treats and toys to encourage your beagle to swim.
Start this by staying near the shallow water and tossing the toy or treat a short way out away from your puppy. Eventually, it will get the hang of swimming out a little farther to retrieve the toy or treat. Then you can move on to the deeper water, and you can also start throwing the items a bit further and further away.
This will help your beagle gain more confidence while in the water, and it can also just be a fun and sometimes useful game to play with it next time you go swimming.
Benefits of Swimming
There are several benefits of teaching a beagle to swim. It is actually on of the best exercises for a beagle to do. Because of the way that their bodies are shaped, swimming is an exercise that will tire them out fairly quickly.
About ten minutes of swimming continuously is almost the equivalent of taking it out for a 30 to 40-minute walk. This is great if you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to walk your dog but still want it to be healthy. Many beagles love food and can gain a lot of weight, so being able to exercise in this way can also help it shed a few pounds and stay healthier longer.
Swimming also helps strengthen a beagle’s muscles, as well as its heart and lungs. And just like with humans, it’s a low-impact exercise, so that means it won’t hurt its joints as much as other exercises. This is great for rehabilitation or if your dog has arthritis or another joint or tendon-related injury.
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Swimming is also a great way to help your dog cool off during hot summer days. Having fur can’t always be comfortable when it’s 90 degrees or more outside, so having a fun activity that will cool off your dog at the same time is great. It’s also good to teach your beagle to swim so that you can have a companion with you when you take your summer trips to a lake or a pool.
Drawbacks of Swimming
One of the benefits of teaching a beagle to swim is that it can tire them out quickly, meaning less time needed for exercise. This can also be a drawback, however. If you are wanting to spend a long time in the water, it may not be a good idea to let your beagle be with you the entire time. It will need time to rest because it can’t swim for hours on end, as some humans can.
This can also be dangerous if you take your dog anywhere where the water is rough or excessively deep. If it tires out, it could run the risk of drowning. In these cases, it may be best to keep the lifejacket on your dog, even if it happens to be an excellent swimmer. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If a dog does seem to be drowning, however, get it out of the water quickly. Sometimes it will cough up water and be okay, and sometimes you may need to perform CPR. Calling a vet in these cases is best as well, they may be able to walk you through what to do.
You also need to make sure that you wash your dog off well after taking it swimming. Seawater, algae, and chlorine can end up damaging your dog’s skin or fur if there’s too much or it’s on too long.
It can be dangerous for a dog to consume too much chlorinated water as well, so make sure you give it fresh drinking water while you are with it.
Also, because of their legs and body shape, you will likely need a ramp or steps to help your beagle get out of the water, they often struggle to or can’t get out of a pool on their own. Be sure to remain calm as well, if a dog gets overexcited when learning to swim, it can lead to mistakes and potential trouble.
How do you know if your dog can swim? A dog will oftentimes naturally start to “dog paddle” when in the water. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it likes the water, that it can stay afloat for a long time, or that it can swim safely, however.
How long should I let my dog swim? For dogs that are just starting, only about 5-10 minutes with rests is good. Too much at once can be dangerous and tiring for it. Eventually, a dog can swim for 30 minutes or more, depending on how strong it is and its level of endurance.
Is a pool safe for dogs? Most dogs can handle being in a pool with chlorine for a limited amount of time. It’s important to wash them off afterward, so the chemicals don’t affect their ears and eyes. It’s bad to let them drink too much chlorinated water as well, so make sure you keep an eye out.