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New swimming pool offers swimmers chance to take a dip with their dog

PUBLISHED: 18:28 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:58 31 July 2019

Swimming can provide health benefits to your four-legged friends. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Swimming can provide health benefits to your four-legged friends. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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A new dog swimming pool is giving owners the chance to paddle along with their pets at special puppy swimming lessons.

Celine Sanders, owner Norfolk Dog Day Inn and Canine Aqua Centre. Picture: Victoria PertusaCeline Sanders, owner Norfolk Dog Day Inn and Canine Aqua Centre. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Norfolk Dog's Day Inn has been offering day care for pooches in Besthorpe, since last June and has just unveiled its newest facility - a heated indoor swimming pool.

Registered veterinary nurse Celine Sanders, who owns the centre alongside her husband Ian Sanders, said the pool was inspired by a shortage of swimming spots for dogs in the area.

She said: "There are places dogs can go for hydrotherapy but not for fun and fitness. Risks such as blue green algae or sea currents can make swimming outside difficult for dogs, so we decided to put the dead space in the centre to good use."

The pool at the centre on the Rookery Business Park, Besthorpe, is heated to a comfortable 27c and features a ramp into the water to ease nervous swimmers into the water.

The indoor swimming pool is located in Besthorpe. Picture: Victoria PertusaThe indoor swimming pool is located in Besthorpe. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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Ms Sanders said despite the widely held belief that all dogs are natural swimmers, many are in fact scared of getting their paws wet.

The centre is offering one on one swimming lessons with floatation jackets and trained instructor, to help nervous paddlers face their fears.

Ms Sanders said: "We encourage the dogs to get their feet wet using toys to tempt them down the ramp, then gradually start moving their legs. Once they're over that initial fear we show them how to turn in the water until it comes automatically."

Dottie, the black lab. Picture: Victoria PertusaDottie, the black lab. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Owners are also welcome to take a dip with their dogs to help reassure them.

As well as hosting lessons, the pool is available for confident swimmers and dogs looking to shed excess weight.

The Besthorpe vet said swimming was a great option for dogs in hot weather, as it allowed them exercise without overheating.

She added: "With the sort of temperatures we've been looking at recently, lots of owners have been wary about walking so swimming is a good alternative. We have one dog coming in because it's on a weight loss programme. It's great cardio."

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