A dark brown dog and a light brown dog jumping off a dock into a lake.

Introducing Your Dog to Swimming Can Be a Fun Way to Spend Time Together.

Introducing Your Dog to Swimming in Miami Pools and Beaches

Living in Miami, we are blessed with beautiful beaches and plenty of sunshine, making it the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities with our dogs. If you’re eager to introduce your dog to the joys of swimming, you’re in luck! With a little preparation and patience, you can help your dog make a splash in your pool and the dog friendly beaches around the Magic City. Here’s a guide to get you started.

Start with Safety

Before diving in, ensure your dog is equipped with a well-fitting life jacket, especially if they’re new to swimming or not a strong swimmer. Look for a vest with a handle on top, which makes it easier to lift your dog out of the water if needed. It’s also crucial to supervise your dog at all times and be aware of any signs of distress or fatigue. Ensure your dog is comfortable wearing their life jacket. Start inside your home and do some short training sessions to acclimate your dog to the weight and feel of the jacket.

Introduce the Pool Gradually

If you have a pool at home, start by introducing your dog to the water gradually. Begin with short sessions, allowing your pup to explore the shallow step  and get comfortable with the feeling of water on their paws. Use positive reinforcement, like treats and praise, to encourage them to enter the water at their own pace. Never force your dog into the pool, as this can create a negative association with swimming.

Teach the Basics First

Before letting your dog swim freely, it’s important to teach them the basics like “come,” “stay,” and “exit.” These cues will help you maintain control and ensure your dog’s safety in and around the water. Practice these cues on land first, then gradually incorporate them into your pool sessions.

Choose the Right Beach

When it comes to beach swimming, not all Miami beaches allow dogs. However, there are several dog-friendly spots where your pup can enjoy the sand and surf. Hobie Beach and Biscayne Dog Friendly Beach are two popular choices among local dog owners. Always check the beach rules and regulations before visiting, and be prepared to clean up after your pet.

Be Aware of Water Hazards

While the beach can be a fun place for your dog to swim, it also presents some unique challenges. Be cautious of strong currents, riptides, and rough waves, which can be dangerous for dogs. Keep an eye out for any marine life, like jellyfish, crocodiles, or sea urchins, that could harm your dog. Additionally, discourage your dog from drinking seawater, as it can cause digestive issues and dehydration. We do not recommend allowing your dog to swim in any local lakes due to alligators.

Rinse Off After A Swim

After a swim in the pool or ocean, be sure to rinse your dog thoroughly with fresh water. Chlorine and salt water can irritate your pup’s skin and eyes, so a good rinse will help prevent any discomfort. Make sure to dry your dog’s ears well, as trapped moisture can lead to ear infections. Let hose water run for a few minutes, and check the temperature before rinsing your dog off. Hose water can start off cool, and then turn scalding hot.

Practice Water Safety for Yourself

While focusing on your dog’s safety, don’t forget about your own. Brush up on your swimming skills and learn basic water rescue techniques. Keep a phone nearby in case of emergencies, and never leave your dog unattended near the water.


Introducing your dog to swimming in Miami can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your dog. By prioritizing safety, starting slowly, and using positive reinforcement, you can help your dog become a confident swimmer. Remember to always supervise your dog, be aware of potential hazards, and practice good water safety habits yourself. With a little patience and preparation, you and your dog will be making a splash in no time!