Where Can I Take My Dog To Swim?
[Our Complete Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

What’s better than swimming during summer? Swimming with your dog! Much like us, dogs feel the need to cool off. They obviously cannot go for a swim alone, so it is our responsibility to find the perfect place for them. If you’re not an experienced pet parent, it is normal to be confused about the location. 

After surveying and examining many options available for dogs, we’ve put together a list for your reference. Going through this once will make the entire procedure of choosing a fun yet safe space more effortless for you. These are our top picks out of all the options; feel free to select only the ones available to you. 

Backyard Pool

If you can set up a backyard pool for your dog, then you are already sorted. You can enjoy the comfort and luxury of swimming almost any time of the day. We only suggest teaching your dog the exact technique of leaving the pool; you can set up a ramp or stairs if you wish to. Backyard pools are the best and safest way to teach your dog swimming. 

Ponds and still water bodies

Ponds are a good option because they are relatively still from other water bodies. They do not have a strong current, unlike rivers and seas. However, they are contaminated by other animals and waste. So only take your dog to a pond if you know it is hygienic and doesn’t contain parasites or algae. 

Kiddie pool

If you are trying to get your dog accustomed to being in the water, then a kiddie or doggie pool is your perfect fit. Even though these pools aren’t shallow, dogs can drown in very little water, so don’t leave them unsupervised. Set up this pool for your dog so they can keep themselves cool while playing outside. 


The ideal rivers are the ones with low current and force. Preferably a slow and shallow river or a small creek should suffice. Anything beyond that can be dangerous for your dog, so only turn towards using a river when no other option is available. If you can find a calmer bend of water or even a hole near such places, then consider using those. 

Hydrotherapy Pools

Therapy for dogs? Yes, you read it right. Hydrotherapy has numerous health benefits for all dogs. Especially the ones in their old age and the dogs who aren’t allowed to run due to medical reasons can use hydrotherapy pools. A quick 5 minutes swim in this pool equates to 5 miles of running. You can find these pools online with a simple google search, or you can also ask your vet for a recommendation.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

  • Easier on the joints
  • Helps in treating canine obesity
  • Helps in healing hip dysplasia and arthritis
  • Double the amount of exercise in a shorter time span

Lake and Beachfront

A small and cozy picnic by the lakeside or near the ocean sounds amusing. If you plan to go on such outings, only let your dog in these water bodies if they are an experienced swimmer. Don’t let them in the deeper part of the area unless they are wearing a life-jacket and swimming with you on the side. Avoid taking them out when it is raining, or the weather is slightly windy or stormy. Watch out for any areas that might be harmful to your pet, such as the ones filled with algae or scum floating on the surface. 

Should you let your dog swim in the ocean?

Many pet parents have a question if they should ever let their dog swim in the ocean. Riptides and giant waves are dangerous for your dog, so they must wear a life-jacket at all times. Supervise your dog by observing them constantly and swimming along with them. If you ever take your dog on a swim to the ocean, stick to the shores and avoid going towards the deeper end. 

Dock Diving

Now, this is where things get real! Dock diving is an actual sport where dogs are launched from a platform and thrown into a pool. The winner is decided based on height, speed, and distance covered by the doy while being splashed towards their toy. It is an excellent competitive sport present at all levels, from small tournaments to full-fledged world championships. Dock Diving is enjoyed not only by the pet parents but also by the dogs. 

Bonus tips for dock diving

  • Research thoroughly on dock diving and medically examine your dog before participating. 
  • Keep your dog well hydrated so they do not drink the water from the pool or place of competition.
  • Teach your dog all the necessary commands and ensure that they respond to them. 

Cleaning Up

Here’s an integral part for all pet parents to follow without any excuses. Do not forget to clean up after your dog after you have used public space. Make sure you carry enough poop bags, treats, food, and water for your dog. As a courtesy sign, leave the place tidy and clean for other pet parents and their dogs. 


We hope you have a clearer understanding of where you can take your dog for a swim. Prioritize safety above all and follow the necessary guidelines to keep your dog secure at all times. As pet parents, we are accountable for their well-being 24/7, and we must act like responsible adults, similar to how we do for our kids. 

Keep in mind that after your pet uses the space, you make it dog-friendly for others as well. Your dog might find some good friends that they can get along with, plus you two spend quality time with each other and get in shape at the same time!