Most dog owners assume that every dog swims out of instinct. This is not entirely true since some dog breeds need to be taught how to swim. Pugs, for instance, are not natural swimmers.
Can pugs swim from instinct or do they need to be taught?
If you have a pug, you should not expect it to swim without proper training. Such misconceptions are what cause drowning in some dogs.
Every dog owner should, therefore, learn pug swimming in relation to water safety. Since every pug has a different personality, finding answers can be challenging.
We can help you out by discussing how pugs respond to swimming and what you can do to make the experience better. Find out more!
Why are pugs not natural swimmers?
The ability of a dog to swim is based on certain factors such as weight, size, experience, and breed. When it comes to pugs, they are known to be brachycephalic.
This means that they have a short and broad skull. Though the structure is what gives them a distinct look, it makes it hard for them to swim.
The squashed face of a pug can make it sink when thrown into a pool for the first time. Due to the short muzzle of pugs, they tend to tilt their heads up as they try to keep the nose above the surface.
This makes the bottom part of the body point downwards, making it easy for such a dog to sink. Pugs are also known to have breathing difficulties.
They run short of breath quickly during activities like swimming. The weight of a pug can also hinder it from swimming.
Since pugs are known to be heavier than the rest of the breeds, staying afloat on the water becomes difficult.
Can you train a pug on how to swim?
Though pugs may not have natural swimming abilities, it does not mean that they cannot learn this activity. You can teach them how to swim and find out if they enjoy the activity.
Start by introducing the pug into the water slowly and see how they behave. You have to be patient with the dog and give them time to get comfortable with the water.
Doing it when a pug dog is still young is much easier than training older pugs. For them to learn how to swim quickly, you should ensure that the water temperature is suitable.
Pugs enjoy their first swimming lessons in heated pools or bathtubs. As you introduce your pet into the water, lower them as you hold the rear end of their bodies.
This should help them learn how to start paddling and using their legs to keep afloat. Repeat the exercise over and over until they understand how to swim.
You should also teach them how to exit a swimming pool. If they are having trouble using the pool’s stairs, you should consider installing a ramp. ‘
Place something on the ramp so that your dog learns where to exit the pool from. Some dog owners do not have the patience to train a pug on how to swim. If you can relate to this, get a professional instead.
How can you boost pool safety for pugs?
As you teach your buddy how to swim, you should monitor them carefully and try to assess if they are enjoying it. Watching them can help you notice when they are tired and need to exit the pool.
The first swimming lesson can affect the feelings the pug develops towards swimming. You can boost water safety by ensuring that the lake or pool is free of obstacles.
Pugs also enjoy swimming in less crowded pools. It should be at least relatively quiet and not crowded with other swimmers. This can ease the nerves of the pug and reduce safety concerns.
Consider getting some floating toys that the pug can swim to. Before you start training the pug how to swim, you need to install a dog-proof fence around your pool.
Ensure that the dog cannot fit into the fence gaps. Cover the bottom part with some plastic material. Sometimes, it is impossible to stay all day watching over your pug.
If they enjoyed the last swimming session, they might decide to try it on their own when you are not around. That is why you need to get a pool cover to discourage this and reduce the risk of drowning.
Though both soft and hardcovers exist, a soft pool cover is not sufficient for the safety of pugs. The chemicals that are used in the pool can also be a hazard to pugs.
This dog breed has a sensitive skin that is prone to infections. Some pugs tend to react to the chlorine that is used in pools.
You should, therefore, inspect your dog after swimming and look for signs such as red eyes or skin irritation. If such symptoms do not disappear, take them to the vet to avoid further complications.
Ensure that you clean the pug after swimming to rinse off chemicals from their bodies. Focus on sensitive areas such as the pug’s eyes.
You can rinse off the eyes with clean water with the help of a dropper.
Some pugs tend to develop ear infections after swimming. This causes inflammation, redness, and pain. You can, however, avoid this by cleaning the ears of your pug well after swimming to reduce such risks.
Experts recommend the use of chloride alternatives in pools where pugs swim to minimize skin irritation. It is better to expose your pug to a swimming pool rather than a pond or lake.
These water bodies tend to have possible hazards such as algae, which can cause seizures and diarrhea in pugs. You can also keep pugs safe in the water through the use of life jackets.
Even though most of the dogs enjoy swimming, not all of them have this natural ability. Pugs can swim if they learn beforehand. It is a great form of exercise for the dog.
Teach the pug how to swim gradually and take the necessary safety precautions.