Do you have a pool-loving pooch?
Dogs, and their people, are invited to take part in a special swimming event at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre on Friday, Aug. 23, with funds raised going to the Colchester SPCA.
“Swimming can be great exercise for dogs,” said dog-owner Karen Butt. “My golden retriever Chelsea swam in the pool every summer during her 15 years. It was especially good exercise for her as she got older so we put steps in for her. She would often sit on the steps so she could be in the water.”
Chelsea’s first pool experience didn’t go as smoothly as might be expected.
“She seemed to think she could walk right across,” said Butt. “She walked across the deck and just kept walking. There was a splash and she went underwater but came right back up.
“She loved it right away. She would use her tail like a rudder and she was so graceful in the water.”
Chelsea had her own float and would climb into it when she wanted a rest.
“When she got older I would help her into the float, but she never stopped wanting to be in and around the pool,” said Butt. “When she was ready to go in I would rinse her off and dry her with a towel, and I always checked to see if she had any hot spots from dampness.”
Dampness can also cause ear infections, especially in dogs with floppy ears, so it’s important to dry the ears.
Anyone taking their dog to the swim at the RECC should be proof of up to date vaccinations. The cost is a minimum donation of $10 to the SPCA Colchester Chapter. Lifeguards will be on deck during the event.
From 9-10 a.m. dogs weighing less than 35 pounds will be in the pool. Those weighing 36-70 pounds swim from 10-11 a.m. and the largest dogs have the pool from 11 a.m.-noon. Pre-registration is required.
Staff at the RECC felt this was the ideal time for a dog swim, as the pool is being drained for seasonal maintenance afterwards.
Can your dog swim?
Before taking your dog in deep water, ensure he/she can swim. Although some people assume all dogs can swim naturally,
Short-muzzled dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs, have trouble because in order to keep their nose and mouth above the water they must tilt their head so much that their hind end is pointing down. Dogs with very large heads in proportion to their body tip forward in the water and those with short legs often have trouble with buoyancy. Those with very thick coats may struggle due to the weight of their coat when wet.
Some of these dogs may be able to swim, while some members of breeds who usually enjoy water may not. Each dog needs to be checked individually when it comes to water safety.