Local dog owners anxious about their best friend’s safety near water can now allay their fears by taking their pooches for swimming lessons at Opportunity Barks in Quakertown, writes Jen A. Miller for The New York Times.
According to Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club, dogs most often drown in swimming pools.
After they fall in, they panic and exhaust themselves if they cannot find an easy way to climb out. Also, dogs just like people can get caught in fast streams or riptides.
At Opportunity Barks, swimming classes are only held during the summer months in an outdoor in-ground pool.
Dogs are first encouraged to “get their feet wet“ by stepping on the top step on the pool’s underwater staircase. Then, they are encouraged to swim to their owners or to follow treats and toys.
The owners also have to ensure to show the dog where the steps are, so they know how to exit the pool.
“You want to guide them in but also let them know that you can guide them out,” said Leigh Siegfried, the owner and training director at Opportunity Barks.
Read more about Opportunity Barks at The New York Times by clicking here.