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the benefits of swimming for dogs

The Benefits of Swimming for Dogs

Did you know: 1 minute of swimming is equivalent to about 4 minutes of running for a dog.

Swimming is one of the best overall exercises for dogs and it works every major muscle group in the body. Not only is it a total body workout, but swimming is a blast for water-loving doggos! The physical and mental benefits of swimming adds to the sense of freedom your dog experiences while playing in the water. Next time you take your pups to their favorite swim spot, maybe the idea of smelling wet dog fur on the ride home won't seem so bad.


Physical Benefits

  • Joint-friendly
  • Healthy exercise for overweight dogs
  • Faster recovery for injuries 
  • Improves cardiovascular fitness


dog swimming in pool


Since water is denser than air, your dog's movement through the water causes a  resistance that is evenly distributed against his/her body. This movement helps to work all of the muscles without gravity pushing down on their joints.

Swimming is a non-weight bearing, low-impact, and non-concussive exercise. This means your dog can enjoy all the benefits without putting stress on their joints and tendons. Plus, the buoyancy of the water takes on most of your dog’s weight when he/she is submerged, which supports their body and relieves their bones from the regular impact experienced on land.

Healthy for overweight dogs

Increases metabolism helps with weight loss It can be tricky to provide overweight pups with enough exercise on land without overworking his joints and muscles. Swimming is a safe activity for overweight pups to burn calories and increase their metabolism without the risk of injury- all while being supported by the buoyancy of the water. When your dog is swimming, he/she is using every major muscle group, which improves overall tone and strength. 

Faster recovery for injuries

Swimming in water, especially warm water, is often used by rehabilitation facilities to aid in a faster recovery process for injuries. Therapeutic swimming strengthens your dog's joints, reduces pain, decreases inflammation and provides a safe exercise for age-related limitations.

Improves cardiovascular fitness

Your dog's deep breathing while swimming strengthens the heart and lungs. The cardiovascular benefit of physical exercise can improve your dog's heart health for a longer life. 


dog shaking off water

Mental Benefits

  • Relieves Stress
  • Provides Stimulation
  • Improves Sleep


Relieves Stress

A healthy pup is a happy pup! Not only is swimming at your local beach or pool great for your dog’s physical health, it improves their mental wellbeing as well. Swimming and running through the water allows your dogs to experience off-leash freedom that they may not always get to enjoy. Bonus- you get to have fun playing in the water with them and swimming is beneficial for humans too! 

Provides Stimulation

Pups need mental stimulation to keep their minds sharp and less anxious. Like most physical activities, your dog has the opportunity to release that pent up energy in a healthy way. When your dog is fetching toys in the water, learning to swim or jumping off the dock, he's exercising his brain too. 

Improves Sleep

Physical exercise like swimming has numerous health benefits for your dog's mind and body, especially when that exercise burns a lot of energy. Your dog may already take several naps throughout the day, but a solid day of swimming at the lake will definitely help him/her rest well. The restorative benefits of a good night’s sleep is just another great reason to take your doggo for a swim.



the benefits of swimming for dogs

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