Indoor pool just for dogs gives furry friends an option for winter exercise

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:55 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - As temperatures continue to drop, and the snow falls, it can be tough to keep your pet active during the wintry months. So, why not take take them swimming? Yes — swimming.

There’s an indoor pool in Anchorage open year-round and it’s just for dogs. It’s called Alaska K9 Aquatics, located in Midtown. The owners opened the pool in 2013.

“We had a dog that was a beautiful swimmer that had severe arthritis and he absolutely loved to swim, and he was the inspiration for us creating a pool,” said Martina Richardson, the pool’s co-owner.

Most dog owners bring their pets to the pool to play, splash and wear them out, but it’s also a good workout. Pups that get restless in the winter have a place to shake off all that pent up energy and get some good exercise.

“Swimming is great exercise that minimizes the impact on the joint, and it’s a full bodied exercise that works the whole body,” Richardson said. “So it gives the dogs lots of nice core muscles, strengthens their rear and their front.”

Sabrina Willis takes her dogs to the pool once a week. Two of her dogs have reached the double digits and she says it’s the best way to keep her aging dogs in shape.

“It’s how I’ve been able to get her mobility back, it’s how I’m able to keep her so spry at an old age,” Willis said, pointing to her 11-year-old miniature Australian shepherd, Zoe. “I teach classes and I see so many dogs gaining unhealthy weight in the winter, because they just don’t get out. They don’t get out like they do in the summer and this is the solution to that.”

After they’re all tired out, owners can use the tubs and blow dryers for a quick wash before heading out, typically leaving with tails wagging.

“My husband is usually with me, and it just makes us smile to see them so happy. It’s kind of funny how we moved from planning activities for our children to planning activities for our dogs, and they bring us so much joy.”

The pool is also a great place for dogs who haven’t yet been introduced to swimming, or those who may a bit more apprehensive to the water.

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