How old does my puppy need to be before swimming?
As soon as your vet has said it is safe to take your pup to public areas where other dogs frequent, you are good to go! Usually this is after the puppy vaccinations, but speak to your vet about this.
My dog has had surgery, when can they swim?
Your vet will be able to let you know when swimming is appropriate for your dog’s stage of healing. It will depend on the type of surgery. The wounds and stitches must be healed before going into the water. If surgery is coming up, you may want to consider pre-surgery strengthening swims to help the healing along on the recovery phase.
Can I swim my other dogs at the same time?
For the first swim, it is usually best to build your dog’s confidence and skill on a one-to-one basis so we can give them our full focus, (especially if this is their first time in a pool environment). After the initial swim, yes, up to 2 dogs can swim at the same time depending on their conditions, and if your dogs get along well together.
Is swimming a dog in the ocean, a lake or river the same as swimming a dog in your facility?
The pool environment provides a much safer setting with no danger of sharp footing, rocky outcrops, currents, tides, disease, other animals, running away, etc. They cannot roll in dead fish, nor eat anything unsavoury or dangerous, and we can always guarantee nice warm weather in the pool building! In the pool, the dogs enter the water via a built in no-slip ramp, and we are in the water with them to ensure they are confident and safe. Our water is heated to a therapeutic range of 30C, making it easy for any dog to have a relaxing yet invigorating and fun swim in a controlled environment.
Why does my dog need a lifejacket? She swims all summer in the lake/ river/ ocean.
Your dog may not need one, but warmer water is less dense than cold, so they will be less buoyant in the pool. A float vest (life jacket) may allow your dog to get the benefits of a longer swim without fatigue. Some dogs also require extra support in the water depending on body type; brachycephalic breeds (flatter faces with short noses such as pugs and boxers) often need just a little extra support as it is more difficult for them to breathe in physical exertion. For the first swim, all dogs will wear a vest so we can assess confidence, fitness, and swimming technique. After that, your dog may very well not require one!
Can I feed my dog before swimming?
No, you should not feed your dog a meal for 2-3 hours before your session. You should also wait 1 hour after you get home to feed your dog as well.
Oops! What about accidents in the pool?
If you potty your dog right before the swim (and quite often some need a break during the swim), this is an unlikely event. For fecal accidents, we will need to close the pool for some time for sanitation procedures. Because of this, we reserve the right to charge up to $200, depending on the time of day and number of cancellations. Please make sure you allow your dog to relieve themselves prior to a swim, especially puppies and seniors.
Will the dog ever be left alone to swim?
Never! A hydrotherapist will always be with your dog in the pool, ramp, or on the deck.
What about pool chemicals/temperature?
We do not need to add chlorine or other harsh chemicals as we use salt cell chlorination. This allows the pool to remain sparkling clean and sanitized, with a gentler, more environmentally and ecologically friendly method of chlorination. The pool is kept at a very comfortable 30 C to 31 C – warm enough for relaxing muscles, but not too warm for more strenuous exercise.
Will my pet insurance cover my dog’s sessions?
Our understanding is that most will insurance providers will cover veterinarian recommended hydrotherapy, but please check with your provider for details and confirmation.
Can my dog in heat still swim?
We can book your girl by special arrangement. Give us a call.
Can / should I drop my dog off and pick her up later?
Generally, it is better if you can stay with your dog for their session. If you have a special situation, give us a call (please note – we are not a boarding facility, and do not have an area to keep your dog before or after their swim). Many dogs are calmed and encouraged by the presence of their human, yet others seem unable to focus on anything but their human if they are in the room! We recommend starting with you poolside, and see how it goes. Once they are confident, then there is no problem if you want to leave to run a quick errand, or go for a jog or walk in the rural neighbourhood, coming back for your dog in 35 minutes!
Is swimming safe?
Yes – any dog around the pool area will always be supervised. Some health conditions will carry some risk of swimming and special handling may be required (for example: multiple handlers may be required, turns may need to be limited, etc). Your vet can determine if swimming is appropriate for your dog’s diagnosed condition prior to our initial session – your dog may not be a candidate for swimming at this time. We pay very close attention in selecting appropriate sized toys for your dog to limit water intake, and ensure every dog gets adequate rest breaks. Their physical condition is monitored continuously throughout the session.
Is grooming care required before swims?
No muddy/dirty dogs in pool, please! This adds stress on the filtration system, which will raise our operating costs! Please give your dogs a good brushing before coming, especially if they are shedding. Please keep nails trimmed, but not right before the swim, as there are often sharps points.
My dog hates water, even steps around puddles. Is there any point to trying a swim?
Many of our most avid swimmers will avoid getting their feet wet on a land walk! We spend as much time as your dog needs to build his or her confidence around the pool. We do not let a dog get panicked. It may take a few sessions until your dog is comfortable enough to fully swim, though most dogs adapt quite quickly to this environment. (And yes, even shelties can learn to enjoy swimming!)
What can I do at home afterwards to help maintain his fitness / weight loss?
Talk to your vet about diet. Take regular walks, runs, and regular swims as possible. We can show you some exercises and tricks to do with your dog to help with core muscle stability. Don’t free feed! Regulate treats. Do trick training. Play with your dogs!