Frequently Asked Questions
Q - Why should I take my dog swimming.
A - Not only do a lot of dogs enjoy swimming and find it fun, it also has huge health benefits too. For young puppies, it’s easy on their young developing joints. For older dogs, it’s excellent exercise that is gentle on their joints. So for those that are suffering from arthritis etc, the warm water soothes and takes the weight so that movement is easier. In conjunction with a calorie controlled diet, swimming is one of the easiest and most gentle ways for a dog to lose weight - again it takes the strain off joints that could already be strained and burns through calories fast. For those that compete in sports, it’s good way of building up muscle and stamina whilst minimising the risk of injury.
Q - Why can’t my dog eat before swimming?
A - Your dog can eat before swimming but we ask that it is a minimum of 2 hours beforehand to decrease chances of torsion (bloat), especially in breeds that are particularly susceptible to it. It is also preferable to leave it at least 2 hours after swimming before giving your dog his next full meal.
Q - What is classed as an infectious or contagious condition?
A - This can be anything from fleas, kennel cough, giardiasis, mange and ring worm. If you know your pet has a condition but are unsure if it can be passed to another animal or human, please seek advice from your vet before bringing them to Swim Paws. If possible please bring something from your vet stating what the condition is and that it is not infectious or contagious. If your pet has a skin condition but you are unsure of what it is, please get it diagnosed by your vet before booking an appointment. If your dog has had a bout of sickness and/or diarrhoea, please leave 3 clear days before booking a swim.
Q - Do I have to book or can I just turn up?
A - It is advisable to book beforehand to minimise any possible waiting times for yourself and your dog. If you follow us on social media, you will find that we regularly update our pages when we have available slots that day in event of cancellations.
Q - I don’t know if my dog will like it, can I just come along and watch a session with them?
A - Yes. We actively encourage this if your dog has never been to a similar facility before. There’s a lot of knew sights, sounds and smells to get used to and some dogs can be unsure at first.
Q - My dog doesn’t like being around other dogs but I’d really like him to swim. Is this ok?
A - Yes. If your dog simply needs some space from other dogs then this is easily done as there is plenty of space at Swim Paws and all dogs are to be kept on leads. If your dog is fear aggressive (lunging, barking, snapping etc) then please phone and speak to us first so we can make sure that our own dogs are off site and so that we can take precautions to minimise the risk of your dog coming into contact with other dogs during their visit.
Q - My dog can be nervous around people he doesn’t know. Is it ok to bring him swimming?
A - This would be decided on a case by case basis. If your dog is simply on the shy and timid side, we would do our best to build up a relationship with your dog but it is probably best done slowly and over time so that they learn to trust us.
If your dog is fear aggressive towards strangers (barking, lunging, snapping etc), it is probably best to consult with a professional trainer or behaviourist before booking a swim. We are willing to work to individual needs as much as possible but our main concern will be the welfare of the dog and not taking unnecessary risks to our personal safety.