can chihuahua swim

Can Chihuahuas Swim? An Expository Guide to Chihuahuas and Water

Chihuahuas are feisty tiny dogs with fine personalities and big hearts. They are considered as one of the world’s tiniest purebred dogs, measuring just under 7 pounds. This makes you wonder: “How do they navigate their way in the aquatic world?”, “can Chihuahuas swim?”.

Naturally, Chihuahuas can swim. However, due to their tiny bodies, they don’t always feel safe in the water and can easily startle while swimming, which in turn exhausts them rapidly. Some Chihuahuas enjoy swimming, while others despise it.

You can train your Chihuahua to enjoy being in the water, as well as understand what makes them good or awful swimmers. They enjoy swimming in pools, lakes, and other bodies of water. 

Do Chihuahuas Like Water?

Most members of the dog community try to understand dog behaviors by categorizing dog breeds according to their likes and dislikes. When it comes to swimming, they separated dogs into 3 categories:

  • Dogs that are natural swimmers
  • Dogs that can learn to swim with training
  • Dogs that can probably swim, but shouldn’t do it

It is worth noting that many dogs are likely to hate water the first time since it is very different from solid ground. The feeling of having nothing to stand on when they first sink is terrifying. 

Chihuahuas may not realize that they will be alright even if they cannot stand on solid ground, but the more you help your dog become familiar with water, the more likely they are going to love it.

Can Chihuahuas Swim?

Chihuahuas, unlike Poodles, are made for swimming. They are not, however, able to sink the same way as Pugs. They fall somewhere in between, so it’s hard to say that all Chihuahuas are born swimmers. After all, we bred them firstly to be lap dogs. 

Chihuahuas are very energetic and enjoy being kept occupied with different activities, like cuddling and mental stimulation. Despite Chihuahuas’ small stature, they also have the potential to be excellent swimmers, and they won’t mind relaxing in a swimming pool or a lake.

While some Chihuahuas are more laid-back than others, some are more energetic. If yours fits into this category, he or she might also enjoy swimming. Physical activities and daily exercises such as walks, fetch, and swimming are essential for energetic Chihuahuas.

When it comes to swimming, being a light weighted dog can be an advantage. Chihuahuas also lack the short legs of the Dachshund, so the likelihood of sinking to the bottom is very low. The Chihuahua’s miniature size gives it an edge.

can chihuahuas swim

Is It Safe To Let A Chihuahua Swim?

Small Dog Syndrome is one of the most common disorders in Chihuahuas, and it affects a wider range of small dogs. This dog condition occurs when small dogs are insecure about their size and must compensate for it. When threatened, terrified, or merely nervous, they will act “bigger.”

Despite what they may appear, Chihuahuas are frequently fearful of their environment. If a Chihuahua is overworked, it will panic and become exhausted rapidly. 

The idea of a Chihuahua with water could be very daunting and cause more stress than you know. Taking dogs out of their comfort zone can be scary, especially if it’s their first time.

Many believe that dogs are born with the ability to swim, which is a very inaccurate assumption. The enormity of the body of water can easily overwhelm smaller dogs – even a backyard pool can give these tiny creatures a lot of discomfort.

The good news is that all four-legged animals, including small dogs, can paddle in the water by themselves. Be careful and aware of your Chihuahua when leading the dog to the water.

 3 Facts About Chihuahuas and Water

  • Swimming is healthy for Chihuahuas

Water-based exercise exposes your dog’s body to air resistance. This is a fantastic activity for dogs that need to lose weight and enhance their cardiovascular health. In fact, according to a study involving 55 dogs, swimming promotes mobility and is beneficial for a dog’s overall health.

  •  Swimming is therapeutic for Chihuahuas

If your Chihuahua is experiencing pain due to patellar luxation, hydrotherapy is ideal. With regular swimming exercise, it is possible to avoid the usual side effect of muscular atrophy.

  • Chihuahuas are known as ‘water-shy’

According to a survey by Vet Street, Chihuahuas are the least likely to enjoy swimming. Many people believe that this small dog despises water, though this isn’t always the case.

Training Chihuahuas to Swim

The deck can be stacked against them, but evidence suggests that Chihuahuas can still succeed at swimming and enjoy a good time in the water. However, swimming for them must be done slowly and carefully. 

As a Chihuahua owner, never make your dog do something they are not ready for or don’t want to undertake. It’s fine to move on if they are not interested.

Before you begin the dog’s training, you must have the correct equipment: a life jacket. this will give you peace of mind if something goes wrong. It is relatively cheap, and it’s worth it. It also boosts your confidence and your dog’s.

If you’re out by the lake, bright colors are ideal, so you can easily locate your pet, even at night. You will almost certainly need an extra small size for your Chihuahua.

Introducing Your Chihuahua to Water

Large bodies of water will most likely terrify Chihuahuas at first. The American Kennel Club recommends starting with a shallow pool in the backyard for them. You can use an empty pool and gradually fill it with cool water, if necessary. 

Next, you can gradually introduce your dog to larger bodies of water if your goal is to go for a swim in a nearby lake.

Swimming with Chihuahuas

Bringing a familiar dog friend who enjoys swimming can help your Chihuahua deal with the water. Dogs can learn a lot from each other and yours may be more willing to join in. While this may take some time, you will eventually swim with your Chihuahua before you know it.

Make sure your dog enters the pool slowly with a life vest on. Begin by getting in the pool first and ask your Chihuahua to come to you by calling its name. Support them with plenty of treats and lots of positive praise along the way.

Don’t be nervous – your pet will sense it! You can also persuade and motivate your Chihuahua to get in with a favorite food or a dog toy if they have one. 

If your pet appears to be stressed, take him outside right away. This doesn’t have to be rushed, and in many circumstances, it can take many swimming sessions.

Dangers During A Chihuahua Swimming Session

Training your Chihuahua to swim may come with challenges, so here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Anxiety can put them in jeopardy

A Chihuahua can tip over in the water if he’s not handling stress properly or trembling excessively, increasing the risk of drowning. Keep an eye out on your dog if you sense that something may be wrong.

  • Chlorine exposure

While your dog is unlikely to consume a chlorine tablet, it can still happen. To avoid so, take the tablets out of the water before your dog enters. Note that a highly chlorinated pool might irritate your dog’s skin and even cause digestive issues.

  • Saltwater can be problematic

Be on the alert if you ever take your Chihuahua to the beach. Dogs who drink too much salt water will have the same problems as those who drink too much water. Always keep a supply of fresh water on hand for them to drink.


So, can chihuahuas swim? We hope that this guide has provided you with a clearer answer.

A chihuahua owner must be careful with their pet. You don’t need a lot of experience to train your chihuahua to swim. With a basic understanding of rescue, walks, games, and other cares, you can successfully train your Chihuahua to swim.

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