Summer fun with your dog

Games to Play in the Pool with My Dog


Warm weather and back yard pools are synonymous with the good old dog days of summer.  So, why not involve your dog? Why should he be indoors lounging around when he could be outside enjoying cool weather, summer sun and party time fun? With these cool games, everyone, including your dog will have hours of exercise AND entertainment.


  • Pool Fetch – This age old game will never get old so why not bring it to the pool? You can play with your dog whether you’re in the pool or lounging pool side.  Throw a floating ball into the water and your dog will swimming for in two seconds flat.  
  • Fly for it – With your dog standing next to you a few feet outside of the pool, toss a water toy or ball into the water.  Have him retrieve it and bring it back to you.  Each time, throw it a little bit further eventually throw it as far as you can to the other end of the pool. The goal is to see just how far your dog can jump or fly before grabbing the ball.  
  • Monkey in the middle – Who can forget playing this game in the school yard? This game will require two people.  With your dog in the middle and each person at either end of the pool, toss the ball over your dog’s head.  His goal is to get the ball and yours is to keep it away.  If your dog struggles to get the ball, let him win here and there or he’ll quick lose interest.
  • Survival – Teach your dog survival skills.  You never know when someone might need his help in the pool.  This game may save a life. Start with something small and then escalate to using a person in an inner tube.  Your dog can practice “towing” the toy or person.  
  • Stand up Paddleboarding – If you plan on taking your dog paddleboarding this summer, why not begin the training process in the pool?  You can hone your skills and he can get comfortable right in the safety of your own back yard.  It’s a great time for him to get used to wearing a life jacket, too.


Before you run out to the pool remember these tips:

  1. Make sure you have spent some time working with your dog on his swimming skills.
  2. Be sure your dog can easily find his way out of the pool.
  3. Continue to practice basic obedience.  Accidents around the pool are less likely to happen if your dog responds to simple commands.
  4. Never leave your dog unattended in or around the pool – not even for a second.
  5. Your dog should always wear a life jacket.  
  6. Don’t let your dog drink the water.
  7. Allow your dog adequate opportunities to retreat to the shade to cool off or even indoors if the temperatures are soaring.  Your dog can over heat in the pool, too.


No matter which games, you decide to play your dog will simply love you for it.  All he really wants to do is spend time with you!  So, grab your dog and hop in the pool for hours of fun that will keep your dog exercised, entertained all while bonding together.  Who wins? You both do.