Did you know not all dogs can swim? It’s true.
While paddling through the water comes naturally for some canines, not every breed is inclined to jump in and swim.
Jaime Plantamura, a swim instructor at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts, knows that it can take certain pups some time to feel comfortable in the water. That’s why she takes special time to make sure each and every dog that comes to Purr’n Pooch for swimming lessons gets individual attention and specialized lessons.
“Retrievers, labs and water dogs are at home in the water, but smaller dogs can have problems getting used to swimming,” said Jaime. “Every dog is different and they all have different needs for their personalities.”
So when James and Margaret Blumenstock of Brielle were concerned that their Cockapoo Daisy would drown in their inground pool, they came to Purr’n Pooch.
“When we got Daisy our pool was covered and Daisy saw it as a hammock and a big trampoline,” said James. “We didn’t want her to be at risk when the pool was uncovered in the summer since she had never been exposed to it.”
The Blumenstock’s had an acquaintance whose dog drowned in an inground pool, and they wanted to take precautions so that wouldn’t happen to Daisy. So at just 9 months old, Daisy began swimming lessons with Jaime.
“Our biggest concern was having Daisy be comfortable in a water environment if she was thrust into it,” said James. “You can’t always rely on instinct to kick in in a life-threatening situation.”
Fortunately, Daisy progressed steadily for never being in the water, and is now comfortable with swimming if the need ever arises.
To get pups started out in the water, Jaime and the other swim instructors at Purr’n Pooch pay careful attention to each dog’s reaction to the water. If they seem timid, Jaime tries to play with them near the water and on the steps to get them comfortable. The pups need to get accustomed to the noises and feel of the water before being fully submerged.
“A lot of it has to do with myself as well,” said Jaime. “They have to feel comfortable with me and trust me before they’ll even let me take them in the water.”
Jaime tries to make each lesson fun for the dogs, giving them treats to help with their adjustment. Dogs wear life jackets to help ease them into the water, where natural inclination allows them to start paddling without panicking.
“You can explain to a child what you’re doing when you’re teaching them to swim, but not to a dog,” said Jaime. “I try to be encouraging the entire time.”
And that encouragement worked with the now 1-year-old Daisy.
“The first time I brought her into the pool I carried her in and laid her gently in the water,” said James. “She was comfortable and didn’t panic at all. It’s a survival skill that I hope she never has to use, but she has it now.”
Purr’n Pooch offers aquatic exercise sessions in an indoor spa pool located in Wall, NJ. Experienced pet care technicians care and comfort pups with ease and patience. Swimming, games, and other exercise routines are part of the fun as dogs learn to move and play gently in the warm spa waters. Introduce your dog to the water correctly to build confidence, increase fitness and promote good health all while having fun. Private sessions are available and the pool setting is calm and quiet – ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation.
“Purr’n Pooch is great and we were very happy with the way Daisy learned there,” said James. “The swimming lessons exceeded our expectations.”
For more information on aquatic services offered at Purr’n Pooch, click here.