doggy paddle swimming

doggy paddle swimming
    doggy paddle swimming
    doggy paddle swimming
    Ever looked at a seal and thought their face looks a bit like a dog? Those big eyes and
    whiskers, the barking sound they make … these similarities point to the biological
    connection dogs have with seals, which are often referred to as the “dogs of the sea”.

    Dogs and seals are part of the Caniformia family that includes wolves, foxes, raccoons,
    otters and sea lions. So it’s no surprise most pooches can swim. Water is in a dog’s DNA,
    which dates back more than 50 million years.
    Joann Woolley, who runs Aquapaws Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness on the Mornington
    Peninsula, says the breeds that take to the pool with the most ease and enthusiasm tend to be
    retrievers such as Labradors and some of the working dogs, including Australian Shepherds
    and Border Collies. The bodybuilders of the dog world — Steff es — can sometimes struggle
    with their big muscly chests, with many of them requiring a life vest to start out.
    “Steffi es are great swimmers once they get the hang of it, but sometimes they can sink like rocks
    if they are new to the water,” Jo says. “The worst swimmers would have to be Greyhounds. They
    turn on the side and they freeze. Like stunned mullets, just floating. We actually have to get in
    the pool with them because I’m scared they’re going to panic and snap their skinny little legs.”
    Jo believes that with so many Australians having swimming pools at home, it’s important
    for dogs to learn how to swim from a young age. “If a dog falls in, they will just swim around
    until they’re totally exhausted and if they can’t clamber up the side, they can drown,” she says.
    Aquapaws is running its first puppy Swim and Socialise program with 12 dogs enrolled in
    the class. “We split the class into big and little dogs and they can all have a play with tunnels
    and different surfaces,” Jo says.
    The doggy swim teacher who trained in both the USA and the UK says swimming
    isn’t just a fun activity for dogs; it’s actually hugely beneficial for exercise, weight loss, and
    recovery from injury or surgery. “Swimming is a non-weight bearing activity that avoids all
    the stresses and strains of exercising on hard ground,” she says. “There are so many different
    surgeries that can be performed on dogs now and recovery time is reduced in the water
    with physio and hydro, so they can be back in action with minimal complications.”
    In the last decade, Aquapaws has helped several paralyzed dogs regain movement by
    using an underwater treadmill. “We’ve had quadriplegic dogs walking again. It’s hard yakka
    and a long haul, but it’s very rewarding to see owners so dedicated to their dogs,” Jo says.
    “The big dogs need to be hoisted up onto a crane and the owners are in the water with
    them. They love it because they’re more proactive in their dog’s recovery.”
    For dogs needing to lose weight, especially old dogs that can no longer run, the Fido Fitness
    The club offers the tools to trim down with diet advice, swim sessions and regular weight checks.
    Just like seniors heading to an aqua-aerobics class, old dogs like to hit the water, too, Jo says.
    “We’ve got a few geriatrics that come, as old as 15, 16 and 17. Some are so excited to get here
    I can hear them coming.”
    Boisterous puppies can also benefit from swimming if they need to release energy. “We
    have some that come twice a week and book the pool out for as long as an hour.”

    With the water set at a warm 26 degrees Celsius, you can see why these doggy dippers
    want to “just keep swimming” like Nemo’s best friend, Dory.

    Many dogs take to the water from the first splash, loving the freedom, the salty air and the fun of fetching a ball in the waves. Here are some of the most popular dog-friendly beaches dotted across more than 37,000km of Australia’s coastline.

    Bay Street, Brighton, Melbourne Vic
    Leash-free every day of the year, it’s always a four-legged social event on Melbourne’s
    Brighton dog beach. Doggy clubs such as The Beagle Club of Victoria have 30 hounds who love
    sniffing their way across this shallow beach.

    Ventnor Beach, Phillip Island Vic
    Rich red rock pools to explore in and deep water at low tide for a morning swim make for a
    great doggy beach on Phillip Island. Turn right from the walkway and head down to the sand.

    Narrows Beach, Queenscliff Vic
    Here, dogs have off-leash freedom from the end of the boardwalk to Fraser Street. Great to see pooper scoop bags and bins provided.

    Sirius Cove Reserve, Mosman NSW
    Plenty of shade, grassy areas, and a protected beach make this dog-friendly hang-out hard to beat. Unleashed dogs are allowed all day Monday to Friday and before 9am and after 4pm on weekends.

    Tallow Beach, Byron Bay NSW
    From Suff Polk Park to Arakwal National Park, there’s 7km of golden sand for you and your four-legged buddy to lap up the sea air.

    Currimundi Beach, Currimundi Qld
    A lagoon off the beach makes the perfect spot for dogs to run in the water and kids to body
    surf. Take entry 60 and 62.

    Long Beach, Robe SA
    Long Beach is the right name. There’s 17km of it to swim, snorkel, surf and let your dog run free.

    Muirs Beach, Coles Bay Tas
    An unspoiled beach with a long stretch of shoreline that welcomes doggy dips — just the
    spot to relax and watch the windsurfers in action.

    Cottesloe Beach, Perth WA
    In summer, dogs are allowed on the beach after 4pm, which makes this the perfect spot
    for dining on fish and chips while watching the sunset across the Indian Ocean.

    Peasholm Dog Beach, Perth WA
    Avid walkers can enjoy a beautiful long stretch of sand. There are lots of other dogs at this one
    if your pooch is looking for company.

    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of Our Dogs Are Loved .

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