Swim Sessions

  • The quality of the water where your dog swims is extremely important. Our indoor, heated pool has a year-round water temperature of 89 degrees. The warm water promotes circulation and relaxes tired muscles. It is equipped with a ultraviolet sanitation system. The UV sanitation destroys over 99.9% of water pathogens and is a continuous, reliable, proactive method of disinfecting the pool water.

  • Your dog will enjoy exercise and warm-water workouts in our indoor, heated salt-water pool. Great for dogs of all ages and health conditions, from young pups and adult dogs to geriatric dogs in need of supervised and guided exercise. We also specialize in pre- and post-surgery swim recovery and support. Swim sessions are assisted or independent.

    Assisted Swims: Each private, one-on-one session is with a certified swim coach and is by appointment only. Guardians are not allowed in the water, but we ask that you sit poolside to encourage and cheer your dog on. The swim coach provides assistance with basic swimming, learning to swim or surgery conditioning and recovery. Your dog is supervised throughout their swim and there are appropriate rest times. Toys are allowed for fetching and encouraging, however we do not allow dogs to jump into the pool. The swim coach, as to prevent injury, controls your dog’s entering and exiting the pool.

    Independent Swims: Also private and by appointment only the same rules apply as with assisted swims, but a swim coach is not in the water with your dog. Dogs must qualify by being able to enter/exit the pool unassisted, and swim (fetch) unassisted all the while remaining in the pool. Guardians are not allowed in the water, but are poolside to direct each session.

    Puppy Swim Lessons: Consists of four (4) separate 15 minute lessons with a certified swim coach. For puppies up to 8 months.

    After each swim session, you will have access to our private drying room equipped with an air dryer and towels. You can then take your time to ensure your dog is as dry as need be, especially in the colder months. You can also take advantage of our Self Serve Dog Wash should you prefer to bathe your dog after swimming. The cost is $14.00 for one dog.

    To schedule an appointment to swim, click the "Schedule an Appointment" tab above or call us at 630-883-0700.

    Payment in full is due at the time of each session.

  • Assisted Swim: Certified swim coach assists with swim lessons, pre-surgery conditioning, post-surgery recovery, fitness training as well as recreational swimming.

    1 dog / 30 minutes $60.00

    2 dogs / 30 minutes $75.00

    VIP Frequent Swimmer Rewards: After 10 Swims = 11th swim is half price. Assisted swims only. Must sign up. Expires in 3 months. Not paid in advance - pay as you swim.

    Independent Swim: Dogs must qualify by being able to enter/exit the pool unassisted and swim (fetch) unassisted all the while remaining in the pool. Great for fitness training as well as recreational swimming.

    1 dog / 30 minutes $35.00

    2 dogs / 30 minutes $45.00

    Puppy Swim Lessons: Consists of four (4) separate 15 minute lessons with a certified swim coach. $99.00

    Puppies up to 8 months. Expires in 2 weeks.

    Gift Certificates Available

    All prices subject to change without notice. Cash, checks and major credit cards accepted.

    • Relieves pressure on the joints and allows muscles to relax
    • Strengthens and retrains muscles
    • Strengthens and supports joints and ligaments
    • Improves circulation
    • Excellent cardiovascular exercise (15 minute swim = brisk 2 mile walk)
    • Superior weight loss aid (in conjunction with proper diet)
    • Resistance of the water increases range of motion
    • Relieves pain
    • Pre-surgery & post-surgery conservative management support
    • Improves confidence, relieves anxiety, reduces stress
  • To schedule an appointment to swim, please call us at 630-883-0700. We will then get your general information so we may send over a Vet Approval form to your veterinarian. They will sign it and fax it back to us. In addition, you will need to fill out a Client Questionnaire. Click the links below to either submit your form ONLINE or download a PDF version to fax or bring in.

    CLIENT QUESTIONNAIRE (ONLINE)

    Client Questionnaire (PDF)

    If you would like to send or take in the Vet Approval form yourself, you can print it out here. Please let us know if you've taken care of this, when you call.

    Veterinary Approval (PDF)

  • Why should pet parents consider trying aquatic exercise for their dog? What are some of the main benefits?

    Swimming is beneficial for just about everyone. It provides non-weight bearing exercise that improves fitness at every level. Swimming promotes blood and lymph circulation and reduces pain globally.

    If a dog doesn’t know how to swim, is that a problem? What if they have a fear of water?

    Though most dogs have an instinctive swimming response, we assume that they need to develop some swimming skills and we go through a series of small steps to promote confidence and competent swimming. Many dogs are afraid of a body of water with no bottom if they don’t have any experience – this fear can be a life-saver for the dog. If you are not a competent swimmer, going beyond where you can touch the bottom could result in drowning. Even dogs bred for the water need a supervised beginning: their enthusiasm sometimes outstrips their skill level! We start them off teaching some “here is the bottom” exercises, with supported swimming one direction toward the owner, and build on that.

    Very few dogs stay afraid of the water as long as their swim experience is carefully nurtured. For a few elderly dogs, a floatation vest provides buoyancy and safety for those who can’t swim fast enough to stay high in the water. For the overstimulated, a life vest can provide security and calming, but we don’t often use vests for long.

    Our “puppy package” is designed to allow puppies to develop confidence and learn to swim in 4 short sessions no more than a week apart. Most of the time, puppies are swimming well at the end of those 4 sessions.

    How does swimming help dogs with issues such as arthritis and joint pain?

    The inflammation involved in arthritis and accompanying joint pain is relieved by warm water and by movement. The health of the joint improves as the muscles start to do their jobs better, and the joints are able to produce joint fluid because they are moving better. Muscles and tendons and ligaments are stronger, and pain is reduced.

    Because swimming is non-weight bearing, it allows compromised joints to move more normally. Thus, the quantity and quality of information from all systems, directed to the nervous system, are improved. For dogs who have any joint issues, this aspect can be the key to improved health and function.

    What are some of the exercises and movements done in the water with the dog?

    Most of our swimmers swim a variation of laps in the water. For those who like toys we customize retrieving activities, and incorporate any limitations or goals into their sessions. For dogs who aren’t interested in toys we teach them to swim along with us as we guide them in a version of “synchronized swimming". Rest periods are incorporated, and these get shorter as dogs get fitter. For the very old, we often float them out to the end of the pool and they swim a 1/2 lap back to their people at the edge of the pool. Balance is achieved by making sure that dogs are using both sides of their bodies equally in terms of making turns and the direction of laps.

    At The Puddle, swimming is very much a family activity and everyone is encouraged to cheer and help the process along (though only swim coaches are in the water). Dogs do much better when their people are involved.

    On average, how long can/should a dog swim? (Be it time in the pool for 1 session or how many days/weeks/months).

    Swim sessions are 30 minutes at The Puddle. Depending on the condition of the dog, actual swimming time per session may be almost all of the 30 minutes or less than 15 minutes, with lots of floating (also very good for the body). We start dogs off on the low end if they are pre-surgical or post-surgical, if they have injuries they are recovering from, if they are obese or unfit in any way. We monitor heart rate to determine when to rest. With regular swimming, dogs improve amazingly quickly, but if close attention is not paid to the rate at which muscles can recover, harm may be done.

    For those who have had orthopedic surgery, adherence to home care rules and exercises is a major influence on how well dogs do in our swim program. We consider 6 weeks pre- and post-surgical to be an ideal start. More swims post-surgical are beneficial in most cases. A dog that is in better condition heals faster and it is far easier for them to become acquainted with the pool before surgery.

    For the elderly and aging, swimming for life is our recommendation. Our experience is that swimming can add years to the happy, productive life of older dogs. One of our dogs was very creaky at 10 yrs old. He was taking anti-inflammatory drugs and using all the medical support available including chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. His pain level would have ended his life pretty quickly. He started swimming once a week and lived to be almost 17. Hard to believe.

    Swimming on a regular basis is excellent recreation for almost any dog. A high percentage of dogs that are “unmanageable” and surrendered to shelters often times fail to thrive due to the stress. Through our “Share the Care” community program we raise funds and provide services for local shelter and rescue groups pre-adoption. Some of those dogs have been transformed by weekly swimming from nervous, fearful, unstable individuals into confident, “let me at it!” swimmers with their former fears of people and new situations a thing of the past.

    Are there any risks involved, for instance is the chlorine bad for them?

    The quality of any pool water is extremely important. At the Puddle, our pool is equipped with a UV sanitation system. The UV sanitation is a continuous, reliable, proactive method of disinfection. The temperature, water quality and filtration are continually monitored.

    There are indeed risks. We encourage anyone looking for a swim facility to observe carefully the quality of the pool water, the way in which the dogs are handled and the skill and training level of the staff. In our opinion, staff need to be extremely attentive to your dog at all times. There needs to be an immediate “oneness” established between the swim coach and your dog in order for your dog to trust them and feel safe. The coach should be trained in how to handle the dog while in the water under all circumstances. This is not an easy task with a frightened dog in the pool for the first time. Dog owners need to be paying very close attention as well, they know their dog better than anyone. Very close observation is needed to ensure that your dog is safe. Do not compromise or make excuses – facilities should be clean, well managed and well supervised.

    • Dogs must on a leash upon entering and exiting our facility.
    • Do not feed your dog within 1-2 hours of their swim.
    • Dogs are to be given the opportunity to relieve themselves just prior to swimming. We have a grassy area to the right of The Puddle’s entrance with proper disposal aids provided.
    • 5 days or less prior to their swim, no topical flee products should be applied on your dog.
    • Clean dogs swim: if we assess your dog is too dirty for the pool we will ask you to bathe them in one of our self serve dog wash tubs prior to their swim. The self serve dog wash is $14.00 for one dog.
    • Dogs must remain in the pool during their swim session. They may not exit the water after each retrieval. This helps to avoid slipping or injury and contain the water.
    • Dogs may not jump from any side of the pool deck into the water. Steps and a ramp are used to enter/exit the pool.
    • Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times.
    • What if my dog poops in the pool? If your dog defecates in the pool, we must immediately shut the pool down and contain the damage. In some cases, the water may need to be drained and the pool must remain closed for a minimum of 24 hours depending on the severity of the damage. For this reason, the swim session is immediately cancelled, and payment is non-refundable. We also reserve the right to assess the dog parent an additional fee of $150 to partially cover the cost of cleanup.
    • Dogs must be current on vaccinations unless medically excused.
    • All swim sessions are video and staff monitored.
  • Swim sessions consist of activities such as swimming, stretching, floating and gentle touch in the warm waters of the pool and each session is dependent on things such as the condition and age of the dog, the goals of the owner, the nature of the dog’s injury (if any) and how the dog emotionally reacts to the water.

    The Puddle is not a licensed veterinarian facility and in compliance with Illinois State Law 225, section 4, point 8 - we do not diagnose or cure specific ailments, perform surgery or prescribe medications. Swimming and massage are not a replacement for proper veterinary care and any injuries or diseases must be medically diagnosed and treated by a licensed veterinarian. Participation by the owner is essential to achieving beneficial results.

    The Puddle is not responsible for any damages to others or to any property caused by the owner/handler’s dog. The Puddle is not responsible for any injuries incurred by the owner/handler or his/her dog as a result of the use of our facility. Payment is due in full at the time of treatment and appointments not canceled at least 8 hours in advance will be billed at half that standard fee, if we are unable to fill your existing appointment time slot.