So, what happens on one of our swims?
A lot of customers like to know exactly what to expect when visiting Swim Paws for the first time.
Once you’ve entered the building and we’ve met, we will either ask you to lead your dog or puppy to our bath where they’ll receive a quick rinse down and be fitted with a buoyancy aid. We ask that owners stay and encourage their dogs as much as possible because it’s all part of the fun. Dogs respond really well to their owner’s encouragement and we’ll guide you on what might help get them swimming. Be warned though, you may get wet!
We only ever have one dog in the pool room at a time (unless it’s a joint swim) and we are able to separate any other dogs that may enter the premises at the time of your visit (there is a groomer on-site). We feel this helps keep the dogs from being distracted by each other and generally leads to a better experience for everybody. Once your dog or pup is fitted in their buoyancy aid we will lead them to the pool and up the ramp where they’ll meet their swim coach!
For a puppy swim they spend up to 15 mins in the water, these are for dogs under the age of 9 months. For an adult (over 9 months) the dogs can spend up to 25 mins in the water. These are times we feel are appropriate for dogs and puppies to spend in the water.
Once in the pool, we will introduce your dog into the water in as gentle a manner as possible. We have a variety of toys available but if your dog has a favourite that’s appropriate to use in water, please feel free to bring it along.
During the session there will most likely be at least two members of staff in the pool room with you and your dog - one in the water with your dog at all times and one in the room monitoring what’s happening. We keep an eye on your dog’s body language, any levels of stress and also signs of fatigue. We’ll advise you on their progress and recommend breaks as necessary.
Most of the time dogs love the water, sometimes they need some encouragement and very rarely we have found that swimming might not be for them. We’ll always tell you what we think, whether your dog loves it or will get used to it. However, if we believe they aren’t going to enjoy it, we will always tell you because we’re in the business of making the swimming experience fun and pleasurable for your dogs and you!
Some dogs take to the water straight away, some take a little longer and we occasionally need to use a few sessions to get the dogs to a comfortable and enjoyable state in the pool. Again we’ll advise on this and see what the best way forward is for them.
After the swimming is finished we will come and get your dog or puppy and then take them back to the bath where they’ll get a shampoo and dry off. We have air blaster dryers but we might not always use these on your first visit. Sometimes the dogs have had such a lovely time in the pool, it’s really not worthwhile potentially upsetting them with the noise from the blaster, but we will assess and advise on each situation and explain accordingly. Needless to say we’ll get your dogs as dry as possible for you and the journey home.
Typically a full puppy session will last up to 30 minutes and an adult up to 45 and by that point you and your dog will be on your way home having had a pleasurable swim experience.
We've put together a short video starring our very own mascot Bane, please take a look here or click on the video up there! ^^^