Dogs are impacted by hot temperatures just like people, so finding a pool your dog can swim in might be a fun – and sometimes necessary – summertime activity.
As the world experiences record-high temperatures in July and August, selecting safe adventures for your dog is challenging. Thankfully, we found K9 Fun Zone at 5285 Highway 6 in Caledonia, Ontario.
Pools for dogs to swim in
K9 Fun Zone, about 20 minutes from Hamilton, is a privately-owned dog-fun facility with a large off-leash play area (open only to customers), a ball pit, and the highlight: two dog diving pools available for rent. Yes, two pools. One 40 feet and one 50 feet, the latter fully fenced (which was good for my crazy spaniel).
Pools for dogs to swim in are available for rent, especially for those with dock diving experience. If not, K9 Fun Zone offers classes – one hour a week for four weeks. Or … watch the events page. That’s what I did.
Fundraiser events at K9 Fun Zone
In July, my pup had a ten-minute introductory dock jumping session thanks to Katherine from Inuguya Rehoming & Rehabilitation, the beneficiary of the day’s fundraiser. Inugoya is a special rescue run by a small crew of dedicated individuals offering foster homes and rehabilitation care for German Shepherds and Rottweilers.
Like so many rescues right now, the organization is at capacity and looking for homes for almost 20 adoptable dogs. Check out the list of young adoptable pooches here.
My fearless dock diving dog
I wasn’t familiar with this rescue but thought the event supporting Inuguya Rehoming and Rehabilitation was a great opportunity for my spaniel to give the water a try. She exceeded my expectations, especially because she didn’t swim in a pool when she had the chance before.
After some coaching down the ramp, my dog progressed to the end of the dock and jumped in after a toy. No running and leaping yet, but she did jump in the water several times. Then our time was up.
Heavy rains that morning had flooded the leash-free play zone, but my dog was undeterred. She loved running and swimming, so much she actually refused to get into the car to go home. Great, now one more thing to work on. The good news is I think I have a new activity to keep her occupied. Maybe dock diving will be her jam.
Tips for keeping your dog safe in the heat
- Keep exercise short and reduce intensity, especially if you have a short-nosed breed. If you have a crazy spaniel like I do, short burst is possible but reducing intensity is a challenge.
- Humidity makes heat worse for dogs too – it makes it harder for dogs to cool themselves.
- Dogs don’t sweat like we do (only through their feet), so fans don’t help dogs.
- Stay in the shade if possible.
- Give your dog plenty of water.
- Cooling vests and bandannas can help. I’ve got a Canada Pooch Cooling Jacket for my pup (affiliate link)
- If you can take advantage of splash pads, backyard kiddie pools (affiliate link), dock diving pools like K9 Fun Zone.
Cooling off your dog at K9 Fun Zone
Upcoming events open to the public include a fundraiser for Animal Angel Rescue Foundation on August 27, 2023, from 1 to 6 pm. National Service Dogs also hosts a fundraiser on September 9, 2023, from 1 to 6 pm. K9 Fun Zone has two heated saltwater pools for dock jumping, exercise, or just cooling off.
K9 Fun Zone is open from 9 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week from May to September. Rentals range from one-half hour to hour for a maximum of three dogs, or half-day and full-day rentals for unlimited dogs.
Yes, you can climb into the pool with your pup, and pool renters can use the leash-free fenced park. Interested in participating in canine dock jumping? K9 Fun Zone has a competitive house league and offers monthly classes during the summer.
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and a travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria. All written content is original, written by a person, and based on experience and research.