Whether you've got a bouncing puppy with plenty of energy to expend or a senior pooch with creaking joints, it's more than likely that your dog enjoys a good splash around when given the chance.

In fact, according to experts, swimming is not only great fun for your four-legged friend but it's also an ideal form of exercise as it's low impact and easy on the joints, so is less likely to cause injury in older mutts.

Splashing around in a pool or lake is also a good way to help overweight pups shed a few pounds, so if you pooch has been over-indulging on the dry dog food recently it could be worth taking up the exercise.

Speaking to the Dog Daily, says Deborah Lee Miller-Riley, founder and director of Canine Water Sports in the US, actively encourages pet owners to consider getting involved in some water-based activities with their canine companion.

"Water is an excellent means of exercising your dog," she says. "It's a nice opportunity for dogs to have a pleasurable event and to exercise without as much damage to their joints as they might get on land."

However, before taking the plunge and heading off to the swimming pool or beach with your pooch, there are a few precautions worth considering to ensure that your pup is safe and comfortable in the water.

First of all you need to find a safe place for your pooch to swim. Be careful when making a splash in lakes, rivers or the ocean as currents and stony or rocky floors can prove hazardous to your pet.

Swimming pools can be safer in this respect but it is important to remember that dogs can't use ladders to hop out of the water like people do so owners need to either be on hand to help their pooch or teach them how to exit safely.

Written by: Hannah