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Swimming with your dog – safety advice and kit suggestion

The Red Original Dog Buoyancy Aid is a great option for keeping your dog safe during water-based activities.

You love swimming. Your dog loves swimming. What better way to spend some quality time with your four-legged friend than swimming together? It can be a great bonding experience and enjoyable for you both, but there are some considerations to take into account such as whether or not you should use a dog buoyancy aid.

If you are looking for some kit to keep your dog safe on swims and long adventures, then we would highly recommend the Red Original.

The Red Original dog buoyancy aid is designed so that all four of your dog’s legs are free, meaning that they can move about freely in the water. There are also four grab handles, which is an added safety feature if your dog is in difficulty and you need to haul them out of the water.

The buoyancy aid from Red Original is also made from CORDURA® Classic fabric – a high tenacity durable woven nylon – which is tear and abrasion-resistant. We have found it to be really hard-wearing and long-lasting and it stands up to heavy use. The water-proof coating also means that it is quick-drying and really easy to maintain.

Advice for swimming with your dog

If you are swimming outdoors with your dog, then you should of course follow our open water safety guidance – and in particular be aware of the risks both to yourself and your swimming buddy.

1 – Keep out of rough waters and be aware that dogs aren’t going to know how to deal with currents or tides. Also make sure that your entry and exit points are accessible for them as well as yourself. While you can easily clamber up steps, that won’t be quite as easy for a springer spaniel!

2 – Remember, not all dogs love water, so only go swimming with your dog if they are happy and confident in the water. There are also other considerations to take into account: dog claws can be pretty painful or ruinous to neoprene when your dog swims into you! Start with short swims so you can train your dog to swim alongside or behind you (not on top of you!). And be aware that dogs can be pretty speedy so don’t be upset if he is faster than you. Most of all, have fun!

3 – One of my main worries when swimming with my dog is how far and for how long he can swim. Beans has no way of telling me when he is getting too tired, which is why a buoyancy aid is a great safety device. It keeps him safe and gives me peace of mind that he isn’t going to get fatigued and be at risk of drowning. They are also great for other water-based activities, such as stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, or just when you are around water or on a boat and want that extra peace of mind.

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.