At the end of a long, hot summer, a dog swim party may be just the thing to bring back the joy of life to your dog. We have had a brief break from dangerous summer heat in Kansas City this week, but hot summer weather is sure to return. Our dogs are bored with early morning and late evening walks, and they’re ready for some serious day time play time. Lucky for them, dog swim party season is just around the corner.
Dog swim parties are a growing trend
A growing number of municipalities across the US are opening public pools to canine guests after the last human swimmers have toweled off and flip-flopped out of the park. And why not? Thousands of gallons of water will go straight down the drain at the end of the season. This water can be used one final time for family fun when the pool is opened to dogs. Cities use the proceeds to fund dog park improvements, rescue organizations, and more.
Dog swim party basics
- Bring a friend. There’s something about water that brings dog joy bubbling to the surface. You will want to share the experience. If you don’t have a dog, you may want to go just to watch. Dog swim parties are that good.
- Stay out of the water. Most public pools that host a dog party ask humans to stay out of the pool. The hosts permit wading up to the knees but discourage swimming with the dogs. These parties are popular and the pool will be quite crowded with rowdy dogs. Parks host these parties after the regular season. Park staff do not test and re-treat the water to appropriate levels for human swimmers. For this reason, disease-causing agents may not be eliminated from the water.
- Pay careful attention on the pool decks. Dogs don’t know that the pool area isn’t a dog park. They will run wild on the pool decks. Slippery surfaces plus running dogs make a dangerous situation. Always watch out for the dogs, because they won’t always watch out for you. Consider leaving small children at home.
- Keep your belongings on tables. At one pool party last year, we saw dogs urinate on at least three different backpacks.
- Practice good swim safety with your dog. Watch your dog at all times. In a large pool filled with dogs, you may find it difficult to keep track of your dog’s location. Dogs may not be able to exit the pool in deeper areas. Be especially vigilant if your dog is swimming in water over her head. Like small children, dogs can panic in the water, and they may not alert you to their distress. Use a life vest if your dog is not a strong swimmer.
Where to find a dog swim party
Contact your local parks and recreation to find a dog swim party near you. These events are upcoming in the Kansas City Metro area:
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