Saturday, October 30, 2010

Swim Time For Cookie

Cookie Gliding Effortlessly

Time For A New Workout

As the owner of a senior dog, it's been difficult getting Cookie exercised because of her injury and age. Many times, I'll take Cookie with the younger dogs on a walk and before we've even started, she'll want to turn around and go home. I don't fight her on it because I know that if she would walk if she could. It has been said that swimming makes a body 90% lighter in water so I figured this is an ideal way for Cookie to slowly get better.

I've been taking her on average of once a month. Hopefully, when I find a job in my field, I'll be able to increase it. In the meantime, I'm making the most of what I can do with it now. I started taking her last month and she was a trooper. Gigi had come along for moral support. To motivate Cookie to swim and not give her handler grief, I would walk with her around the perimeter of the pool.

Cookie and Eduardo
This second time, it was just me and Cookie. She was hesitant but a good sport. As she's getting older, it's getting harder for her to keep off the weight. It was apparent to her handler that she was a little heavier this time around. Even with cutting back on her food, with dogs like Cookie, it's more important than ever to find the correct method of exercise.

Swimming Benefits For Dogs

Swimming is becoming more popular these days for many reasons:

  • It's a no-impact workout with high impact results. I don't have to worry about Cookie risking further injury.
  • The place I take her to swim has a swimming pool (pictured right) made specifically for dogs. It's a nice square shape that is only 4 feet (1.21 meters) at its deepest point. There's little reason for dog distress.
  • The Stillness Within
  • They have people specially trained to help your dog swim. Today, Cookie was very reluctant to go into the pool. Eduardo was very patient with her and was able to coax her in for her workout.
  • It's climate-controlled. Because this pool is located indoors, I don't have to worry about the elements affecting Cookie. She can focus on swimming.
  • Dogs always wear life jackets. Even though most dogs can swim, it's too much of a risk for them not to wear a life jacket. It keeps the dogs calm and they can keep going. For me, it was good peace of mind to know that the ultimate safety measures have been taken.
  • No Towels Are Needed. Since this is a business, they dry your dog thoroughly. Cookie was a little damp underneath the ears but it was a huge relief to be able to drive home and know that she's ready to go.

Hopeful Healing

I'm hoping that by doing this type of workout with Cookie on a regular basis that her injured leg will get stronger. With a stronger back leg, she will have better balance and hopefully lose some of the extra weight. Considering that exercise decreases appetite, Cookie will be less likely to nudge my mom or myself for a treat. Since I've taken her today, she hasn't asked either of us for a treat because she's been too busy resting.

A Real Trooper

Let's Discuss!

Do any of you have a dog that's in a similar predicament? How do you feel about swimming as a form of exercise for dogs?

Related Posts

At The Vet's Office Part II
Cookie Update
Follow Up
Five Tips For Walking A Senior Dog
Five Signs Your Dog Is Not Getting Enough Exercise

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