When the heat of summer has you craving a swim in your pool or the nearby lake, it might get you wondering—can Pomeranians swim?
Yes, Pomeranians can swim. Swimming can become instinctive for Pomeranians, but it’s crucial to gradually introduce them to water instead of setting them in the deep end for the first time.
I’ve taught many dogs how to swim and will cover the best practices I’ve learned to help you. I’ll also share tips for when you should avoid taking your Pomeranian around water.
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Breaking the Swimming Myth
Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are naturally good swimmers.
According to the American Kennel Club, the reason for this is the dog breed and personal preference. For example, people bred Labrador Retrievers and Irish Water Spaniels to gravitate to water. As a result, these dog breeds tend to have little fear of water and learn to swim quickly.
In contrast, certain dog breeds lack the body composition to make swimming easy. Bulldogs and Dachshunds are excellent examples as they have short legs and long bodies.
Luckily, although Pomeranians are a small dog breed, they have a relatively uniform shape that makes it fairly easy for them to tread water.
How To Teach Pomeranians To Swim?
Teaching your Pomeranian to swim can be a fun bonding experience. But before you start, purchasing a life jacket that fits your Pomeranian well is vital. That way, you won’t have to worry if your Pomeranian goes in too deep as they learn to swim.
Step 1: Choose a Swimming Spot
A place with calm water, little debris, and a gradual incline from the shore is the ideal area for teaching your Pomeranian to swim.
One of the most important aspects of swim training is to allow Pomeranians to gradually walk into the water until they’re comfortable to go deep enough where they’ll need to begin treading.
Step 2: Encourage Your Pomeranian To Enter the Water
There are three ways to coax your Pomeranian into getting its paws wet for the first time:
- Use treats.
- Walk in the water with them.
- Bring a water-loving canine friend.
Personally, I recommend using all three of these tactics if your situation allows. Just ensure the water-loving dog you bring isn’t the type (or size) to get so excited that they could jump on your Pomeranian and push them underwater.
During this step, your sole goal is to get your Pomeranian comfortable with touching and walking through water. Let them smell it, let them bite at it, and use positive reinforcement techniques in the process.
Step 3: Support Your Pomeranian in Deep Water
“Deep” water for your Pomeranian won’t even come close to your knee. So, you might want to toss on a bathing suit for this step to crouch down and offer better physical and emotional support for your beloved pet.
Every Pomeranian works differently in terms of how fast they adjust to the water. You should never force your Pomeranian to swim when they’re still scared. So, it might take several days bringing them around water before they’re calm enough to try swimming.
Once you deem that they’re ready, though, carefully hold your Pomeranian beneath their stomach and guide them into deeper water. Let them paddle their legs for a few seconds before returning to shallow water or the shore.
Step 4: Repeat Step 3
If your Pomeranian shies away after holding them in deep water, let them settle before trying it again. But if you’ve taken your time until now to introduce them to water, there’s a good chance they’ll come running back for more.
So, continue letting your Pomeranian swim under your guidance (and with their life jacket still on), gradually increasing how much time they spend in the water.
Step 5: Remove the Life Jacket
You’ll know your Pomeranian is ready to swim on their own when you can let go of their belly with their life jacket on, and they can paddle without stressing. So, try taking their life jacket off.
When doing so, it’s crucial to remain in the water with your Pomeranian for the first few times as they try swimming independently. Once they’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s safe to assume they can swim without guidance.
Of course, it’s crucial to ensure they always have access to getting in and out of the water independently. For example, swimming pools aren’t always ideal for Pomeranians because their small size can make it hard for them to climb out, depending on the setup.
Importance of Teaching Pomeranians To Swim
Teaching Pomeranians to swim is crucial if you have a pool or live in an area where they have access to rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water. That way, should they fall in the water, they stand the chance of staying afloat long enough for you to rescue them.
That said, experts recommend limiting a dog’s swimming time to only ten minutes, as water toxicity can occur after this time.
Benefits of Swimming for Pomeranians
Swimming has numerous benefits for Pomeranians. Some people even take their dogs to hydrotherapy—water therapy—to help them overcome certain medical conditions.
Some benefits of incorporating swimming into your Pomeranian’s play routine include:
- Weight management
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Reduces stress
- Supports sprain and strain recovery
Swimming is also excellent for older Pomeranians who suffer from arthritis, pain, or stiffness.
When Swimming Is Dangerous for Pomeranians?
If your Pomeranian has health issues, particularly related to cardiovascular, respiratory, or muscular problems, it’s vital to speak with your veterinarian before teaching them to swim.
You should also never take your Pomeranian in water with a current. While this is a best practice for any dog, a Pomeranian’s small size means that even small river or ocean currents could knock them off their feet compared to a larger dog breed.
Finally, only bring your Pomeranian in water at a temperature you would feel comfortable swimming in. Otherwise, the cold water could cause hypothermia, which typically occurs in dogs when their body temperature drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether it’s your Pomeranian’s first time around water or they’ve got the hang of swimming, below are some tips to keep in mind to help them have a safe experience.
- Never force your Pomeranian to stay in the water longer than they want.
- Chlorine might irritate their eyes but isn’t harmful.
- Never let them swim without supervision.
- Always give your dog access to fresh drinking water.
As much as you’d like your Pomeranian to swim, there’s another reality you might have to prepare for—they might not want to, ever. And that’ll have to be okay with you.
The worse thing you can do is force your Pomeranian to swim or get upset with them when they don’t want to go in the water. Stress can have a detrimental impact on their ability to swim, so only use encouraging words around them.
Are You Ready To Take Your Pomeranian Swimming?
Now that you know the answer to “Can Pomeranians swim?” is yes, it’s time to choose a life jacket. I recommend picking one with a handle on top. That way, you can quickly pull your Pomeranian out of the water if they’re in trouble.
Furthermore, if you plan on bringing your Pomeranian on a boat, you should always put a life jacket on them even once they know how to swim.
So, I’ll let you start your swim training lessons so that you can enjoy life by the water with your Pomeranian.