How Far Can Dogs Swim? 

Can dogs swim long distances? How Far Can Dogs Swim, and how can you keep your dog safe during a long swimming session? Answers to all such questions are in the article below!

Swimming is not a new skill for dogs. Canine aquatics competitions have been around for many years now. 

However, we are aware of the innumerable questions that pop into pet parents’ minds now and then. For example, how far can dogs swim, and for how long can they hold their breath underwater?

How Far Can Dogs Swim

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If you have been thinking about taking your dog swimming recently, be aware that many beaches in the United States restrict dogs during the summer. Finding a dog-friendly beach can be a task in itself in the summers. 

But if you do find an appropriate beach to introduce your dog to swimming or have some doubts about the same, you will find this article to be of much help. 

This article answers questions about the distances dogs can swim in the water and other dog and water-related queries. 

Do Dogs Enjoy Swimming?

What must be understood first is that not every breed is a natural swimmer, and not every body type is meant for swimming. 

Do doggos even enjoy the process of swimming? For starters, does the sight of water excite your dog? Check if your pup is a born swimmer by letting it in shallow water for some time. 

Shallow water bodies allow dogs to move conveniently in the water. When introduced to water, dogs are likely to start paddling. This action, however, does not guarantee that they will stay afloat. Some dogs may not like water at all, and there is nothing that one can do about it. It would be best if you made peace with it. 

How Far Can Dogs Swim

How Long Can Dogs Swim For?

Some dogs are born with swimmer bodies, while others are not. However, typically dogs can swim for around 20 minutes.

Studies suggest that dogs such as the Portuguese Water Dog and Irish Water Spaniel are born with the physical structure of swimmers and are utterly likely to love all things swimming. Labrador Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Poodles are also excellent swimmers. 

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On the other hand, bulldogs, pugs, Yorkshire Terriers are not born swimmers and need supervision and training. Bulldogs have heavy chests compared to their hindquarters. Their body structure is not typically meant for water. However, life vests and proper training can be of some help. 

Can Dogs Swim Long Distances?

It depends on how fit your dog is.

Depending on their stamina, dogs can swim long distances. Waterdogs can even swim for as much as a mile or more. Your dog’s ability to swim has a lot to do with its breed, your pet’s fitness levels, and the waterbody’s location and size. Dogs who have undergone training can traverse even longer distances.  

How Far Can Dogs Swim

Can Dogs Drown?

Yes, dogs can drown if they become exhausted or are not natural swimmers.

While some dogs can be born swimmers, some may even drown. Yes, dogs, including adult dogs, may drown, too. 

  • Exhaustion is one common cause that is responsible for drowning in dogs. 
  • Other reasons can include boredom from the activity, which is pretty standard. 

For ensuring your pet’s safety- take frequent water breaks to avoid a prolonged stay in the water. And, as an added safety, your pet should wear a life-jacket. 

Dogs whose bodies are not meant for water survival may sink in water. When a dog experiences a nearly drowning situation, one must immediately bring them to a veterinary professional. 

Also, any respiratory changes or changes in stamina after being in water should not be ignored and must be diagnosed in time. 

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Is It Bad for Dogs To Swim?

No, as said earlier most dogs can swim for upto 20 minutes without much trouble.

It is not bad for dogs to swim lest conditions such as the time they spend in the water, frequent water breaks, low chemical content of water are ensured. A life vest also comes in handy if your dog is new to the sport. 

How Far Can Dogs Swim

Swimming is known to be beneficial for dogs in many ways. It is helpful for some dogs with joint mobility disorders since it is beneficial in muscle strengthening. It is a workout, and if you are keen on introducing it to your pet, you can seek help from a dog training expert. 

Akin to us, swimming can help dogs stay cool on warm days. Swimming can also help dogs shed some pounds. Reports also suggest that swimming can act as hydrotherapy for dogs with hip deformities such as Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). 

Why Do Dogs Bite the Water When They Swim?

It’s just their playful nature and their way of exploring things.

Is it normal for my dog to bite water? Yes, it is normal for water dogs to bite the water. Waterdogs love to be in the water and thoroughly enjoy themselves there. Dogs tend to bite water in this playfulness. 

However, this also means they may swallow some water, which may not cause health disorders. It is OK for dogs to swallow some amount of water, but you must try to monitor your pet so that they do not consume harmful substances in the guise of water. 

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Is It Possible for Dogs To Hold Their Breath?

Yes, they can hold their breath underwater.

Holding their breath underwater comes naturally to most mammals. It is an inbuilt survival instinct. Despite being majorly non-aquatic, most dogs can hold their breath underwater for a reasonable time. Dogs facing chronic respiratory issues can undoubtedly face problems in doing so.  

How Far Can Dogs Swim

How Deep Can a Dog Swim?

Yes, dogs can hold their breath underwater, and as a result, they can explore the depths. 

Some dogs can go as deep as fifteen feet. Retrievers are likely to go even deeper in quest of an object they need to fetch. Non-water dogs, on the other hand, may not go so deep into the water. 

Can a Dog Swim in the Ocean?

Yes, dogs can swim in the ocean. 

But, the more important question is: Is it OK for dogs to swim in the ocean waters? Firstly, one must take special care regarding the direction of the water current. 

Secondly, litter in the ocean can include sharp objects such as seashells that can hurt your dog’s paw pads. Litter such as pieces of glass can be even more dangerous for their paw pads. If your dog is young, it may even consume some of these, and the consequences can be fatal. 

When dogs swim in the water, they tend to swallow it. Owing to this, they can develop health issues by consuming even the littlest amount of unsafe water. Not only this, but consuming freshwater is also potentially harmful to pets. Studies document that freshwater intoxication can get so bad that it leads to seizures and neurological disorders. 

How Far Can Dogs Swim

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How To Keep Your Dog Safe During His Swim in the Ocean?

Firstly, beaches are not the perfect playground for your pets, and you must be extremely careful with your pets when on a beach. 

Studies suggest that the first step should be to check if the ocean water fits your dog’s consumption since they are likely to swallow at least some amount of it on their swim. 

Check for discoloration, foam, blue-green algae, scum, or any potentially harmful sign. The visibility of scum is indicative of algal bloom. Exposing your four-legged friends to such substances frequently can cause health disorders in them. If you have the slightest doubts, the best option is to keep your dog away from it. 

On the other hand, if the water seems safe for a swim, you can use a life jacket to ensure your dog is equipped to deal with the ocean currents.

Is Ocean Water Good for My Dog’s Skin?

The salty water can impact your pet’s fur and skin.

Multiple swims in the ocean’s salty water can affect your pet’s fur, depending on how thick it is. If you see unusual dry, flakey, or bald patches on its fur, it can be because of prolonged dips in ocean water. 

Pet parents can take care by bathing the dog in freshwater after returning from the beach so that saline water does not stay on their fur for long. In some cases, dogs can develop sunburns from their beach adventures. Veterinary experts suggest using an umbrella and sunscreen to deal with the aforementioned. 

How Far Can Dogs Swim

On the other hand, pool chemicals in their diluted state are generally not toxic for your dog. However, in some cases, extremely high chlorine concentration in re-chlorinated pools can lead to pool shock in dogs. In situations like these, you must consult a veterinary expert immediately. 

How To Safely Take Your Dog Swimming in Cold Water?

Avoid temperatures below 20 degrees fahrenheit.

Swimming guides say that temperatures 45 degrees Fahrenheit and above are considered safe for most dogs. However, one should avoid temperatures less than 20 degrees 

Fahrenheit as they can lead to frostbite or other medical disorders in your pet. However, if the dog seems too enthusiastic, quick swims of as little as five to ten minutes can be a safe option.   

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A Few Final Words

By now, you know- how far your dog can go depends on their breed, stamina, training, and of course, on where they are swimming. Dogs can end up covering the distance of a mile in the water! 

We wish you have multiple safe water excursions with your four-legged friend and would love to hear about them. Also, do not forget to take frequent breaks from the water at regular intervals. 

Let us know the distances your pet has traversed in the waters. If there are some specific topics you would want us to write about, do not hesitate to share them with us. Thank you for reading the article!

You might also like to read about other amazing things that dogs can do such as surviving in the wild when they are lost.