Doggie swimming sessions have been a huge hit at a village swimming pool this week.
The sessions are the idea of volunteers running the Heckington Swimming Pool for the community after a one-off trial at the end of last season proved popular.
Pool committee chairman Michael Wells explained it started off as a bit of a joke, but the response surprised them.
He said: “One of our members is a veterinary nurse and was talking about horses exercising in pools and then we suggested dogs and thought, why not? We gave it a go and found people are a bit dotty about their dogs.
“People like it because it is a safer place for them to let their dogs swim than in a river or lake. Owners seem to love the idea of getting in and swimming with their dogs.”
They have opened the pool up for dogs and their owners to swim for three evenings this week - Monday, Wednesday and the final session this Friday, September 11, from 6-8pm. The pool has already closed to the public for human-only swimming sessions for the season and this week has just been a final attraction before packing it up for the winter. There were over 20 dogs and owners on Monday and Wednesday nights. Committee members have checked with an expert to make sure the chlorine is safe for dogs.
Mr Wells said there were no particular rules apart from cleaning up any dog mess, ensuring owners dry their dogs’ ears properly in case of infection and do not let them drink too much of the pool water as it can act as a laxative.
He said: “We have had a wide variety of dogs. We created a ramp for them to get in, but it has turned into a pontoon with dogs floating about on it.”
Mr Wells explained they have to leave a day between sessions to clear out the dog hairs from the filters. He said: “We put a chemical in the water too that clogs the loose hair together and then we can net it out. That is why we could not run Doggie Dip sessions during the main seaso,n because it takes so long to clean up afterwards and some people might not like the idea.”
The entry fee is £5 per dog with swimmer and £2.50 for any additional humans or dogs.