Can Cavapoos Swim? Do They Like Swimming?

The Cavapoos love for swimming originates from their Spaniel and Poodle roots. Early water socialization, water safety, and respecting your Cavapoo’s individuality are key to encouraging a love for water and swimming. Water play is the ultimate fun activity for Cavapoos (also called Cavoodle), and as luck would have it, swimming will also reward your furry friends mentally and physically.  

Cavapoo Dog in the Pool -Can Cavapoos Swim
Cavapoo in the Pool

Are Cavapoo’s Built to Swim?

If one of your parents were formerly known as a ‘Pudelhund,’ which loosely translates from German as ‘splashing dog,’ chances are you would love water too.

The Cavapoo’s parents, the Spaniel and the Poodle are well-known water dogs and consistently feature in listings of top capable swimming dog breeds. Both breeds are notorious swimmers, specifically the Poodle, originally bred for hunting and retrieving waterfowl.

Cavapoos generally have a streamlined, athletic build suited to swimming. Their charismatic and energetic nature also gives them the energy needed to swim and play in the water.

Can All Cavapoos Swim?

The Cavapoo’s inherited love for swimming and physical strength does not suggest that your Cavapoo can naturally swim when first introduced to water. Although Cavapoos learn to swim quickly due to their curious interest in water, they still need proper water socialization and practice to swim safely.

Introducing your Cavapoo to water before the age of 6 months will increase their interest in water and encourage early learning of swim skills. All Cavapoo’s swim capabilities are different. As a dog owner, it is essential to know these limitations and know when to positively encourage your Cavapoo or set swimming boundaries or restrictions.

Do All Cavapoos Enjoy Swimming?

Can Cavapoos Swim - Do Cavapoos Cavoodle Dogs Enjoy Swimming

Cavapoos all have different personalities, and although they may be capable swimmers, they may not all find swimming that enjoyable. It is essential to respect their choices and offer alternative water play options such as romping in the shallow tides at the beach or in a kiddie’s splash pad.

Most Cavapoo’s prefer to play games and have fun in the water rather than swim for long periods. As Cavapoo’s are height-challenged, they tend to prefer shallow waters to deeper water.

Does Swimming Benefit Your Cavapoo?

Yes, yes, yes! Swimming is an excellent source of cardio fitness and strength training for your Cavapoo. Not only will it reduce stress levels and behavioral problems in your Cavapoo, but it will also help with weight loss.

Swimming is also an excellent exercise for older dogs experiencing pain or joint complications. Not only is swimming a joint-friendly sport, but it can assist with joint recovery and improve circulatory problems in elderly dogs.

Can I Encourage My Cavapoo to Enjoy Water?

Introducing your Cavapoo to a range of water-based activities will increase their likelihood of enjoying the water and swimming tenfold.

Allow your Cavapoo the opportunity to take the first step when exploring water for the first time. Forcing your Cavapoo into the water when they are not ready may lead to fear and anxiety, which can delay or prevent swimming.

Gradually introduce your Cavapoo to water by taking them on a leashed walk on the beach and allowing them to retrieve toys from the shallow waves. Always introduce your Cavapoo to shallow water first. A kid’s pool or splash pad is also an excellent introductory option.

Some great splash pad options from Amazon are the Splash Pad Water Toy Sprinkler Mat Pool and the VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad for Kids and Dog.

Splash Pad Sprinkler for Kids Toddlers Water Toy Mat 68" Kiddie Pools, Splash Sprinklers Pads Outdoor Summer Toys Baby Swimming Pool, Fun Backyard Lawn Games Infant Pool Slide, Water Play Ages 1 - 12

VISTOP Large Non-Slip Splash Pad for Kids and Dog, Thicken Sprinkler Pool Summer Outdoor Water Toys - Fun Backyard Fountain Play Mat for 3 Age+ Girls Boys or Pet Dog (75 inch, Blue&Blue)

Encouraging your children and other dogs to join your Cavapoo in the water for the first time will also make the experience more fun and less threatening. Always make water and swimming a positive and fun experience for your dog.

What Fun Water Toys Do You Recommend?

Numerous water toys are available for your Cavapoo, making swimming and learning to enjoy water much easier. Try stick to easily grip able and colorful water toys that are easier to find and retrieve in water.

Always ensure that whatever toy you purchase is safe and does not have any long straps that could entangle your Cavapoo in the water. Similarly, rope toys are not recommended due to the risk of strangulation and drowning. 

Additionally, keep an eye on older water toys and throw out and replace any broken or damaged toys which may cause your Cavapoo harm.

By swapping water toys and regularly adding new options, your Cavapoo will stay engaged, and swimming will remain a fun experience for them.

Here are some excellent water toy options:

Advice and Safety for Cavapoo Water Play

Monitor Your Cavapoos Water Playtime

My dog will continue to play non-stop until I drag him out of the water groaning and barking.

It is essential to keep in mind that Cavapoos are smaller dogs, and toy breeds will tire more quickly or more easily suffer from heat exhaustion in the summer months. Providing your Cavapoo with shorter plays and sufficient breaks will avoid unwanted physical and mental fatigue.

Never allow your Cavapoo to swim unattended. Your Cavapoo can quickly tire or ingest large amounts of water with excess play. Fortunately, this water ingestion is rare but can be fatal for your furry friend. Near drownings, although also rare, can lead to infection or fatal inflammation of the lungs.

Consider your Cavapoo’s age and health as well as the weather or water temperature and reduce their playtime accordingly.

Know Your Water Play Area and Its Risks

Always research or get to know the area or pool you are visiting before going for a swim. Keep your Cavapoo on a lead if you are unsure of safety at the new water site. It is also better to cancel your swim if the water is too cold, as cold water can be dangerous to your Cavapoo’s health.


Unfortunately, it is commonplace to hear of drownings where dogs have been taken out on currents or in deeper waters. Your Cavapoo can tire more easily when swimming in waves, and its ability to float can be drastically affected. Always keep a lead on your Cavapoo when swimming or playing in the sea.

Try to prohibit your Cavapoo from drinking seawater as this can affect their digestion and lead to vomiting and rarely more severe kidney problems. Ingesting algae or polluted water can also make your Cavapoo ill and can also cause skin irritation or infection.

Make sure you are familiar with the quality of the water you are swimming in and whether other hazards such as dangerous wildlife or sea creatures may pose any harm to your furry friend.

Pool Safety

Familiarise yourself with the pool before introducing your Cavapoo for a swim. Educate yourself on the pool chemicals used to avoid coat or skin damage. It is always a good idea to rinse your Cavapoo with tap water after swimming to reduce any possible reaction or irritation.

Teach your Cavapoo where all the exit points for your pool are and keep them in the shallows before allowing them to swim more freely.

A life jacket is also a great option if you want to let your pet swim more independently in deeper pools. Ensure the jacket fits well, and if you can get one with a lifting handle, this will prove useful in aiding your Cavapoo when exiting the water.  Jackets are a great way to keep your Cavapoo horizontal and buoyant in the water and can help avoid drowning. Do not be tempted to leave your Cavapoo unattended in a life jacket. Accidents can still happen.

This is an excellent doggy life jacket option from Amazon: Outward Hound Dog Life Jackettward Hound Dog Life Jacket, and if you are looking for something a bit more fun and trendy, have a look at this option: Malier Dog Life Jacket. Both options come with handles and are available in extra small and small sizes and various colors. 

Outward Hound Granby Splash Orange Dog Life Jacket, Medium

Malier Dog Life Jacket, Ripstop Dog Life Vest Adjustable Dog Life Preserver with Strong Buoyancy and Durable Rescue Handle Pet Lifesaver for Small Medium Large Dogs Swimming Boating (Gray, X-Small)

Cavapoos Ears, Eyes, and Skin When Swimming

Cavapoos can be extremely hairy both inside and outside their ears. This hairiness can make them prone to infection, especially if they are seasoned swimmers.

Ensure to constantly clean and dry the ears thoroughly after swimming to prevent the start of an infection. You may check out our article Why Does My Cavapoo Smell? How To Make It Smell Better? for a discussion on bacterial and yeast ear infections that causes them to smell. 

Silicone dog earplugs are an option for your Cavapoo and are great for those prone to ear problems. Not all dogs will be tolerant of the earplug idea, and if the earplugs cause any anxiety or take away any enjoyment from swimming, then it is not worth the effort.

These two earplug options for your Cavapoo:

Putty Buddies Ear Plugs 10-Pair Pack and Putty Buddies Original Swimming Earplugs.

Both options are easily mouldable to your furry friend’s ear and can be used in the pool or sea.

Looking after your Cavapoo’s eyes should also be a priority, especially in the summer months. Your Cavapoos eyes are sensitive to the sun and are even more sensitive when around water glare or reflections. 

If your dog will wear glasses, Amazon has several options that will not only protect your Cavapoos eyes but make them look incredibly cool.

Small Dog Goggles UV Protection Doggy Sunglasses. These goggles offer UV and wind protection and are made to fit even your toy Cavapoo. Not only will they protect your furry friend from the sun, but your Cavapoo will also be able to enjoy playing at the beach without sand blowing in their eyes.

Don’t Allow Your Cavapoo to Swim on a Full Stomach

Did your grandmother ever drive you crazy, convincing you to wait at least one hour after eating before swimming? Now it’s your turn to aggravate, by making your Cavapoo patiently wait to swim.

Ensure that your Cavapoo has not eaten for at least two hours before swimming. Overeating or swimming with a full stomach can be dangerous for your Cavapoo by increasing the risk of stomach dilation and possible gastric torsion (GDV syndrome). In laymen’s terms, this is an avoidable life-threatening condition where your dog’s stomach fills with gas and gets twisted.

Cavapoo Swimwear Trends

I am not a big fan of dog swimwear as I think dogs should be allowed to swim au naturel.

Swimwear can be restrictive and could even pose a risk of drowning. Your Cavapoo’s swimwear could easily get hooked onto something and could also restrict their movement while swimming.

But if you are desperate to delve into the world of Cavapoo swimwear fashion, then ensure that the costume fits comfortably and has no loose ends hanging off it.

Here are a couple of swimming trunks and bikini options for small dogs, which you can look at:

Further reading: