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How to help your dog if he’s afraid of water

 de bora em 15 out 2020 |
Sem comentários
Some dogs love to swim, but many are afraid to even get close to the water. Here are a few tips for helping Fido overcome his fears.

Many dogs love to swim, but some are afraid to even get close to the water. Whether his aversion to beaches, lakes and pools stems from a bad experience or your pet is simply cautious by nature, there are ways to help him feel more confident in the bath and at the beach.

To help your dog adjust to the water, it is best to introduce him to it at home where he feels safe and comfortable. Do not expect too much too fast, however, as forcing him into water can actually increase anxiety surrounding baths or swimming. To help him adjust at his own pace, introduce your dog to gradually by filling the tub with only a small amount of warm water. Offer him treats and praise when he remains calm in the tub and be sure to stay calm yourself, as dogs are masters at reading social cues. Over time as your dog shows signs of feeling comfortable, you can add more water. Try adding toys to the tub, too, to help distract your pet from a stressful soak. If you have a yard, you can also invest in a kiddie pool during the hot months of the year to entice your pet with a cooling dip to show him that getting wet can be an enjoyable experience. If he begins to relax and play in the pool, you can join in the fun, too. Other ways to introduce your dog to water include playing catch with the sprinklers on, letting him explore puddles during walks, petting him with a wet washcloth, and simply walking close to a lake or ocean during his daily exercise.

After your dog has mastered feeling confident in the water at home, you can bring him to the ocean or lake. If he has canine companions, arrange for a group outing so your pet can see his friends swimming and learn from them that water can be fun. Continue to offer praise as he wades even into the shallows, which will boost your dog’s confidence and form positive associations with the water. If you begin to get frustrated at any point, take a break or try again another day, as your pet can sense a sour mood and will begin to associate it with swimming.

Some dogs are frightened of swimming and respond well to a personal floatation device similar to the life jackets humans wear. With the confidence that he will not sink and a swaddling effect that many animals find comforting, your pet may be able to relax more and truly enjoy his time in a lake, pool or ocean. During bath time, make sure your tub is outfitted with a rubber mat to prevent slipping and consider investing in a nozzle for rinsing, as a deluge from a bucket can be off-putting for pets that are still adjusting to water. With some time and patience, your four-legged companion should learn feel comfortable in the water, and may even learn to love swimming.

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