Do Chihuahuas Like the Water?

Do Chihuahuas like the water?

Does your Chihuahua dream of afternoon dips in the water or would it rather spend its life as dry as a plain muffin?

These may seem like silly questions, but the answer is not always so clear. 

Some Chihuahuas love swimming and playing in the water, while others are scared of it. Whether or not your Chihuahua likes the water depends on their personality and how you introduce them to it. 

The idea of getting wet can be quite intimidating for a tiny Chihuahua, but with some patience and training, they can learn to enjoy swimming and bathing.

Read on to find out the answer to: do Chihuahuas like the water?

See if your pup can become the Michael Phelps of Chihuahuas or if they should stick to the kiddie pool.

Stay tuned as we discuss the benefits and risks of swimming, as well as some tips for getting your Chihuahua to like the water.

A light haired chihuahua swimming and liking the water

Do Chihuahuas Like the Water?

The answer is a little complicated. Some love water, while others are petrified by it. It really depends on the individual dog and if they were exposed to swimming and taking baths as a puppy. Some Chihuahua puppies like to tip over their water bowls and play in the water.

When it comes to swimming, Chihuahuas either love it or hate it.  Some will take to the water right away and start swimming like a pro. Others may be scared at first, but with some patience, they can learn to enjoy it.

Can Chihuahuas Swim?

Yes, Chihuahuas can swim. They might not be natural swimmers, but it is possible for them to learn. There are many Chihuahuas that have a blast swimming. 

Make sure to always supervise your Chihuahua when swimming. With such little rudders, it’s best to give them breaks since they can tire easily.

If your Chihuahua seems stressed out in the water, get them out right away. Some Chihuahuas don’t like swimming and that’s okay. If you force them, they will associate water with a negative experience. This could lead to consequences such as a fear of bathtime.

Do Chihuahuas Like Baths?

Chihuahuas typically don’t enjoy bath time. Since they have short hair and a small body, they lose body heat quicker. This means they get cold very easily which causes them to start shaking. Being bred in a warm and dry climate has made them susceptible to the cold.

Some Chihuahuas don’t mind the water, but if your Chihuahua is anything like ours, they hide from baths and need plenty of convincing to clean up. 

Read our post on how to bathe your chihuahua to learn some tricks to make bath time less stressful and more fun!

Benefits of Swimming

There are many reasons why you should let your Chihuahua swim. It’s an excellent form of exercise, it’s easy on the joints, and offers therapeutic remedies for all ages.


Swimming is a great exercise for dogs and is a low-impact way to help keep them healthy and fit. Swimming has many benefits such as improving their cardiovascular system and strengthening their muscles. It also helps increase your dog’s metabolism, which promotes weight loss.


Swimming is a great way for them to socialize with other dogs and people. It can help them become more comfortable around others and scary situations, which is especially important if they will be interacting with strangers often.


For medical conditions like dogs who have arthritis or after surgery, hydrotherapy is a great way to help them recover. Swimming can help reduce pain and inflammation and even promote healing. Facilities can offer pools or even underwater treadmills. 

Because of the natural resistance of water, swimming can be as effective as exercising on land in a fraction of the time.

Cool Down

Swimming is also a great way to cool off on hot days. Since dogs mainly sweat through glands in their paws and use panting to regulate their temperature, it can be hard for them to cool off during the summer.

Dogs can easily overheat, which can lead to heatstroke. Swimming offers a great option for exercising when it’s too hot for a walk!

Easy on the Joints

Swimming can be helpful for dogs with joint problems or arthritis because it is a low-impact form of exercise. The buoyancy of water supports a dog’s weight, which leads to less impact on the joints. 

It is also good for overweight dogs, as swimming burns calories without putting stress on the joints. 

Relieve Stress

Chihuahuas get to play around and explore in the water. It can be a fun and relaxing way for them to relieve stress.

Improves Sleep

Since swimming is a great form of exercise, your Chihuahua will probably wear themself out. This will lead to a better night’s sleep for your dog.

A tan chihuahua squinting standing on a rock with the ocean behind him

Risks of Swimming with Your Chihuahua

While swimming has many benefits, there are also some risks you should be aware of.

Pool safety

Be aware of the dangers of leaving your dog unsupervised in a pool. Make sure there is a doggie ramp or stairs for them to get out and that they know how to use them.


Even if your dog knows how to swim, they can still drown. Despite their hyper disposition, Chihuahuas can tire easily and become exhausted when left to swim for too long.

It is always a good idea to have them wear a life jacket. Additionally, Chihuahuas are very small and can easily be swept away by a swift current so make sure you keep a close eye on them.


Chihuahuas do not have much hair on their skin and can sunburn quite easily. Make sure they have plenty of sunscreen on when swimming and playing in the sun.

Swimmer’s Ear

Just like humans, dogs can also get swimmer’s ear. Be sure to clean their ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner after swimming, especially if they have floppy ears, and make sure to dry them.

Teach your Chihuahua to Swim

If you have a pool, it is easy to teach your Chihuahua how to swim. Start by putting them in a life jacket and slowly introduce them to the water. Make sure there are no distractions and that you are paying close attention to them at all times.

If you don’t have a pool, there are still ways to get your Chihuahua in the water. Take them to a lake or river and let them play in the shallow areas.

If you’d like to get your hands on a pool, they make dog swimming pools that use thicker materials so their nails don’t rip or cut open the pool. 

Tips to Get your Chihuahua to Like the Water

A tan chihuahua shaking the water off him

Start Young

If you want your Chihuahua to like the water quicker, it’s best to introduce them to it when they’re a puppy.

It’s important to teach a puppy to like water at a young age because it will make swimming and playing in the water easier when they’re older. There is less chance they will be afraid of water if you can create positive experiences when they’re little.

Start Small

The easiest way to get your Chihuahua comfortable with swimming is to use a kiddie pool. You could also take them to a lake or river and let them play in the shallow area.

If you have a pool at home, you can hold onto your Chihuahua while you introduce him to the water. Start by putting them in a life jacket and slowly introduce them to the water.

A bathtub can work just as well for training purposes but be cautious of them hastily leaving the tub. Make sure there are no distractions and that you are paying close attention to them at all times.

A chihuahua is being placed into a small kiddie pool

Gradually Increase

Start with short intervals and gradually increase the time your Chihuahua spends in the water. This will ensure you don’t overwhelm them and that they have plenty of time to get used to the water.

Make it Fun

Play with your Chihuahua in the water and make a game out of it. This will help keep them entertained and relaxed. Get one of your Chihuahua’s favorite toys and bring it in the water. Chances are, he will come after it or add a variation to fetch at the very least.

Don’t Force Them

If your Chihuahua is scared of swimming, don’t force them into the water. If they are terrified of the water, don’t make them swim. They may need more time to get used to it or it could be possible that they might never like it.

Reward Them

Reward your Chihuahua with treats and praise for going into the water and swimming. This will help them associate treats with swimming and they might enjoy it more.

Go Kayaking or Canoeing

If your Chihuahua doesn’t want to be in the water, try being on top of the water in a boat or kayak. This will give them a different perspective of the water and they might enjoy it more. Most Chihuahuas don’t like being wet, so this could be a great option.

Take Them to the Beach

If you live near the beach, take your Chihuahua for a walk on the sand. This way, they can be near the water but don’t have to go in it. If your Chihuahua is feeling brave, they could dip their toes in the water when a wave comes up to shore. Make sure they don’t ingest the saltwater, though!


So, do Chihuahuas like the water?

It turns out some do and some don’t, it depends on your dog’s personality and how their first experience with water went. If it was positive, they might love swimming, but if it was negative, they might have developed a fear of water.

Chihuahuas can be taught to swim and most do enjoy spending time in the water. Use our tips to gradually introduce them to the water if they’ve never been swimming.

Don’t forget that swimming is a great form of exercise for Chihuahuas. It can help burn calories without putting stress on their joints, so it’s worth the struggle to teach your dog to swim.


Do Chihuahuas Like Rain?

Chihuahuas typically don’t like the rain. It can be too cold and wet for them. However, there are some Chihuahuas who do enjoy the rain. It all depends on their personality.

We put a rain jacket on our Chihuahua and he doesn’t mind going out in the rain. However, some dogs see that it’s raining and won’t even step one foot out the door.

Can Dogs See Underwater?

Dogs can see some things underwater but they typically cannot focus on anything more than a few inches in front of them. This is why it is important to always have a life jacket on your Chihuahua when swimming, so you can keep an eye on them at all times.

Should I Throw My Dog in the Water?

No, you should not throw your dog into the water to see if it can swim. This can traumatize them and make them scared of the water. They also might not be able to find their way out of the water. Instead, try gradually introducing your dog to the water by playing in a shallow area. If they are still afraid, don’t force them into the water. Swimming is not for every dog!

Can a Dog Drown?

Yes, it is possible for dogs to drown. Even if they seem confident swimming, there is still a risk for them to drown. They can get swept away with the current or a big wave could knock them underwater. This is why it is important to always have a life jacket on your dog when in the water. Watch them carefully and never leave them unattended.

Why Do Chihuahuas Not Like the Water?

Some Chihuahuas don’t like the water because they are afraid due to a traumatic experience. They could have been forced to swim when they didn’t want to or they may have had bad experiences with baths. Another reason is most dogs don’t like getting their paws and fur wet.

Related posts:

  1. How to Bathe Your Chihuahua
  2. How Smart Are Chihuahuas?
  3. Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep So Much? (20 Reasons)
  4. How Much Walking Does a Chihuahua Need? [Exercise Guide]

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