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Can Chihuahuas Swim?

Chihuahua being held in human hands just above the lake surface to swim

Yes, they can but will require some training and precautionary steps to stay safe. Although Chihuahuas weren’t developed for swimming, they have emerged as reasonable swimmers despite their small size. The natural energy of these lap dogs enables them to do much more than cuddling their owners. Keep reading to learn how to train Chihuahuas to swim and know the places where they can go swimming.

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Can You Teach a Chihuahua to Swim?

It might seem surprising to many canine lovers, but Chihuahuas can swim, naturally. They just need some guidance and help from the owner to overcome their fear and stress. The following tips can be quite useful to teach swimming to your Chihuahua.  

Start Early and Progress Slowly

Chihuahua in a life vest in a pool

Familiarize your dog with water as soon as possible to make things a lot easier for him/her. However, you should never force your Chihuahua to jump into the water because it can create a negative association. Take baby steps and let your pooch progress at a comfortable pace so that he/she starts loving water.

Be Gentle

You should never throw your Chihuahua into the pool or any other water body. This traumatic experience will have a really bad effect on the training and may force the dog away from the water. Instead, hold your dog under the belly and place him/her in the water. It will help them adjust to the surroundings and learn the art of swimming.

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Use a Life Vest

White chihuahua in an orange life vest in a inflatable donut next to a pool

You must make your dog wear a life vest even when they learn to swim. Most dogs find it uncomfortable to wear a life vest. Hence, you will need to train them to wear the floatation device before placing them in the water. Training them (with treats) for a few minutes (for a week) can be an effective remedy.

Set Small Milestones

Don’t expect your Chihuahua to start swimming like a pro within the first week. Instead, set small, achievable goals and celebrate each accomplishment with your pup’s favorite treat. 

Keep the Sessions Short

 Chihuahuas are small and can get tired quickly while swimming. This could lead to panic and anxiety that are not good for the training. Therefore, it’s important to limit the duration of each session.

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Where Can Chihuahuas Swim?

Brown chihuahua walking in a shallow river

Chihuahuas can swim in different types of water bodies, including lakes, rivers, seas, and swimming pools. However, the water in each of these places is different and can pose certain risks to your pooch. Let’s discuss some of the precautions that must be ensured when you take your Chihuahua to swim.

Can Chihuahuas Swim in the Sea?

Chihuahuas can swim in the salty water of the sea but it’s not recommended. This is because your Chihuahua can experience dehydration if he/she accidentally ingests saltwater. Similarly, it can upset the stomach of your pooch. Last but not least, the strong currents of the sea can also sweep away your pooch. Hence, it’s better to be safe than sorry!  

Can Chihuahuas Swim in Lakes?

Long haired white and red chihuahua standing in a lake

Lakes are probably the best natural water bodies for dogs to swim. This is because the water is free from any harsh chemicals and the current is not very strong. It allows your Chihuahua to play around and explore his/her instincts.

Can Chihuahuas Swim in Chlorinated Pools?

Yes, they can because the skin of these pups is quite similar to humans and won’t be affected by chlorine. However, Chihuahuas with sensitive coats or other skin issues should stay away from swimming pools. Likewise, ingestion of chlorine can result in an upset stomach. Therefore, it’s important to ensure proper precautions before taking your Chihuahua into a pool and dry him/her thoroughly after coming out.

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