In the Summer after a full day of dog walking in the sun, there’s nothing better than going for a dip in the water to cool down. What I love about it is that I can completely take the pressure off my feet from all the walking I’ve done throughout the day and go for a swim and use completely different muscles from the ones I used earlier on in the day.
I only started wild swimming last year and for me I found this a great way to cool down and unwind after those long, hot summer days. I also found it a great new way to bond with my dog, Willow. Willow has always loved the water ever since she was a pup and so now it’s so nice that we can do something else that we both love together.
My tips for wild swimming with your dog is to find somewhere small and quiet to begin with, so that you can both focus on each other. Try getting in yourself first to show them that it’s safe. Don’t swim out too far to begin with. I’ve also found that the Mountain Paws dog hiking harness is a really helpful tool to have when helping your dog in the water. The handle on the top allows you to hold onto your dog while they practice and build their confidence, also if they feel uncomfortable you can just lift them out by the handle. Once you and your dog both feel confident then you can start swimming a bit further out and for longer too.
There’s some really beautiful Tarns up in the Lake District, some involve a couple of hours of walking to get up to them but when the end goal is cooling swim in a peaceful, picturesque mountain landscape, it’s definitely worth it.