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Why Swimming Is Good For Your Dog

May 8, 2015

FootFalls Canine Hydrotherapy Fun Swims SS9

For centuries, the action of moving through water has resulted in immense physical and emotional health benefits for both humans and dogs alike. Used on many different levels this exercise practice has provided numerous positive impacts on the body, having been studied, researched and proven for both preventative care and rehabilitation following illness or injury, our canine family members greatly benefit from swimming regularly. The following information explains why swimming is good for your dog, exploring all the benefits to health and emotional well-being.

 Why Swimming Is Good For Your Dog – The Facts

 Low Impact Exercise

The water acts as a support, easing the ability to move more freely with less stress on the joints, encouraging wider range of movement and providing a safer environment for many levels of exercise.

FootFalls offer more than therapeutic hydrotherapy, we also provide fun swim sessions where your dog can enjoy the benefits of our pool whilst keeping fit, healthy and toned. Older dogs benefit from gentle strengthening and aerobic conditioning. Younger dogs can learn to swim and gain confidence in the water in a warm and controlled environment. Apart from the many health benefits on offer, swimming your dogs is great fun and very relaxing for them too.

Thornton at FootFalls Essex Swimming

Our clients understand why swimming is good for your dog and how canine hydrotherapy is recommended for an array of reasons, including age related arthritis, paralysis and other mobility issues (following injury, surgery or illness), along with helping with obesity, dysplasia, increasing balance and coordination or just to aid general health, fitness and muscle tone.

Like Thornton, pictured here enjoying the FootFalls pool, your dog does not need to be recovering from an injury to take part in our fun swims.

Moving Through Water – The Benefits

Water stimulates and also relaxes, having an effect on all systems.


Movement in warm water raises body temperature, causing blood vessels to dilate which increases the circulation delivering nutrients and oxygen around the body whilst at the same time acting to effectively carry away waste products to detoxify. Blood flow to the extremities increases due to the resistance actions of moving through water acting to increases blood volume and balance. The increased circulation improves and benefits lymph movement, oxygen in the blood and respiration.


Water can help to reduce inflammation and increase the circulation. It is a safer, more supportive way to extend the ranges of movement and motion in a non-gravity environment, enhancing the actions of stretching movements causing less stress on skeletal joints.


Moving through water helps pain management and relief, promoting muscle relaxation. Whilst in water the resistance provided is stronger than moving on hard ground through air so the muscles are being used more freely without the stresses of weight bearing. This is an extremely efficient and safe way to build up muscle by exercising.

Nervous System

Water calms and soothes the nervous system, decreasing stress. Water can act to stimulate sensations of joint position, helping to re-establish sensation channels following trauma from injury or surgery.

Emotional Health And Swimming

Canine swimming has many emotional benefits in addition to the physiological health improvements. An ageing dog who is losing some mobility function can be experiencing regular discomfort and we can tell when our canine friends are unhappy which in turn makes us want to do all we can to make them feel more relaxed and comfortable. Many owners seek out all available options to help their beloved friends and hydrotherapy often creates a welcomed respite from the symptoms as well as enabling effective pain management, pleasing both dog and owner.

Husky during a fun swim at FootFalls Essex

With a local beach ban in place until 1st October – 22 weeks long – FootFalls is offering Fun Swims for your Canine family members at £26 a session. Swimming is a great way to keep your dog fit and toned throughout the summer months call for an appointment on 01702 808606

**Vet referral required, download our referral form here.



For further information please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.

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