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Puddles of Fun!

August 1st, 2019

And here we are again… summer is in full blast! Personally, I love it! I love the sun and the warm weather, and I actually even cope well in hot weather too. Maybe it’s because I used to live in Slovakia where we used to have, and still have, very hot summers (and I’m talking months not just a few days). I know it’s not for everyone… but like anything else, you (or the weather) can’t make everyone happy.

Last year, in one of my July Blogs, called Awesome Summer Activities to Do with Your Dog, I wrote about different summer activities you can do with your dogs. Amongst them were paddling and swimming, making frozen treats, twist with the Kong, and few more.

For me, summer and swimming go hand in hand. When I was little, we spent a lot of time at public pools, lakes, rivers and even took a few trips abroad to enjoy the ocean. The times spent near water became even more fun when we got out first dog, a Mini Schnauzer named Ajo.

Ajo loved swimming so much!!! We used to throw balls to him for what felt like hours and he never got tired. He would run, jump into the water, grab the ball and swim back… again and again. He’d also love jumping into the stream to fetch floating sticks. Our other dogs, Hovawarts, Cherry and Blondie, weren’t that keen. They wouldn’t fetch anything from the water. They’d wait for Ajo to fetch the ball, then corner him, take the ball and proudly present it to us. Crafty girls! 😂 They did join me when I went swimming though and would circle around me like guard dogs. I’d end up with a few scratches when they came a bit too close but I thought it was very sweet how they looked after me and protected me.

Swimming is an excellent way to get fit, not only for humans but also for dogs and other animals like horses. Swimming provides an aerobic workout that strengthens the heart and lungs, tones and builds muscles and it’s good for their joints. Let’s not forget it’s also heaps of fun!

Mr Tank is the only dog of mine that enjoys water at the moment and in any form or shape too. Since he was small he’s loved playing in puddles as well as with the water hose and jumps in every stream. I’ve even had to rescue him a few times from being stuck in the mud… not easy with them short legs 😊.

Many dogs know how to swim from the first moment that they even step foot into a pond or a pool. Dogs are natural swimmers and don’t need to be taught to swim. Over the years though a few people have told me that Scotties can’t swim but on the other hand I’ve also heard that they can and actually enjoy it!

Do any of you have any experience with this?

Mr Tank is a water baby but can’t swim well and I think if left unattended, he would drown. This was proved twice in his life. The first time was when I was walking him with Martha by the quarry lakes near our house. I had kept them on flexi leads as I knew they would run straight into the water but I took them quite close so that they could paddle and have some fun. While I was watching Martha rolling in the mud like a happy piglet (not paying much attention to Mr Tank – I know bad right), he went too far and out the corner of my eye I saw him turning to one side, struggling to keep his head above the water. I dragged him out of the water but luckily he was absolutely fine and wasn’t distressed. Tough cookie my Tanky 😊.

The second time he experienced a ‘proper’ swim was at Dogs Unleashed last year. They always have a few swimming pools there for dogs to cool down and have some fun in. I stood for ages with an over-excited Mr Tank in the cue. When our turn came we followed the procedure you would follow when you introduce your dog to water and swimming. I picked him up, held him with one or both hands under his belly and watched and waited for him to start stroking on his own when he hit the water. After a few minutes, I pointed him in the direction towards the guide and released him. Bless his little heart, he couldn’t even swim straight 😳. Every time the guide let go Mr. tank started turning to one side.

Even though he couldn’t swim properly he really enjoyed the experience and was buzzing afterwards. That made me think, why is it that he can’t swim? Is it that he’s heavy and has a barrel-like trunk (not fat by the way but solid and strong). Is it short legs that can’t paddle fast enough to keep the body above the water? I think the best solution would be to get him a little life jacket and put it on every time we are near water.

Have you experienced the same or something similar with your dog? I’d really love to hear about anyone else’s experiences with this 😊

Until then go grab your fur-baby and go have some fun in the sunshine while the weather is still in our favour!


What People Say...

When we got home from the hospital with our new arrival it was clear that Perri, one of our miniature poodles, maternal instincts kicked in and went into overdrive. She was immediately acting like a mother separated from her pups and just wanted to care for the ‘naked puppy’. She has a history of being so motherly, even to the point that she has produced milk for puppies that aren’t hers even before she had a litter and has mothered every type of animal she could. She was panting, pacing and unable to relax for long at all. She could whine for England!

We tried other herbal remedies we had at hand for a previous anxious dog and nothing worked at all. She stopped eating and stressed herself into overheating too. Her stress was starting to impact the other dogs and she just couldn’t unwind. No matter if we worked off her energy with a walk and she wasn’t even interested in her usual mind games or call games. We also couldn’t offer long-lasting treats and chews too often as they gave her an upset stomach.

As soon as the Calming Floral Spray arrived I gave the bed a spritz and put some on her coat and the change was instant. She just got on her bed and fell asleep. She stopped panting and barely whines now, started eating again and she only does a bit of whining if the baby cries. We have now been able to positively reinforce her calm behaviour. I honestly can’t recommend this enough to people.
Natalie Griffiths