Paws 4 Swim – Dog Hydrotherapy Pool in Lisburn

Update – Paws 4 Swim is now closed but the pool has been relocated to Aqua Dog Hydrotherapy at Moira Road Lisburn. Also another hydrotherapy pool – Paws for a Splash has opened at the East Belfast Enterprise Park. We hope to try these out sometime soon and do reviews on them.

I had recently found Paws4Swim through their Facebook page and was really interested in trying it out with Bonnie. She is a bit fixated on the pond at the leisure centre where we walk so I was curious whether she liked swimming.

It was easy to find using Google Maps (location here) and although we arrived early we were invited on into the building. When we first entered I was really impressed by the pool, it is large, big enough to accommodate all sizes of dog, and is heated to a lovely warm temperature to make it comfortable for the dog.

Bonnie the border collie pleadingly looking at the camera as she's held in the Paws4Swim Lisburn dog swimming pool wearing a Ruffwear Float Coat in red
I’m not too sure of this swimming lark..

We filled out a form with Bonnie’s details, took off her harness and collar, and then she got a little shower to get ready for the pool. She was given a life jacket and I was happy to see that they don’t skimp out on the dogs’ safety as they use the Ruffwear brand which is expensive but excellent quality (My Review of the Ruffwear Front Range Harness).

Bonnie the border collie wearing the Ruffwear Float Coat in red waiting at the side of the Paws4Swim Lisburn dog swimming pool for the ball to be thrown
Never mind that I look half drowned, throw the ball!

She was lead up the ramp to the pool and was a bit wary of entering the water first of all. But soon she was in and doing a practice lap of the pool while being held. She gave us little pleading looks to begin with as it was all so new to her but we were reassured that most dogs are like that for their first time. In no time she grew in confidence and swam unaided to chase the balls.

Bonnie the border collie swimming with the ball in her mouth at Paws4Swim Lisburn dog swimming pool
Woo hoo! Got the ball!

Unfortunately I didn’t catch her name but the staff member was really friendly, professional and did a great job acclimatising Bonnie to the water and motivating her to play fetch with the ball. I also liked that they had a wide range of toys for the dogs to play with so would cater to all tastes but Bonnie’s favourite will always be balls especially ones that squeak!

Bonnie seemed to really enjoy herself after she got acclimatised, she got lots of exercise and was a happy sleepy pup the rest of the day after an initial hyper moment when we got home (staff member said this was common especially after their first visit).

Bonnie the border collie wet and fluffy after her shower at Paws4Swim Lisburn dog swimming pool
Bad hair day!

As well as providing swim sessions for fun they also provide hydrotherapy sessions for dogs recovering from injuries. Overall I think it’s a fantastic facility that provides a great service at a reasonable price. I will definitely be bringing Bonnie back here.

Bonnie the border collie looking into the camera after her shower at Paws4Swim Lisburn dog swimming pool
Don’t really like this shower… but the swimming was fun!


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17 thoughts on “Paws 4 Swim – Dog Hydrotherapy Pool in Lisburn

  1. How cool! So was that her first time swimming, as far as you know? She did REALLY well!

    The training facility we’re probably gonna take Raiden to has a pool and I thought about taking Kasper. Kasper loves to swim but doesn’t get much chance these days…maybe a few times he’ll swim in the canal late at night, but even that’s on a longline.

    Does Bonnie have any issues with strangers? Kasper is nervous of people, especially in new environments, so I’d probably have to sort out a few pre-pool visits with treats and staff largely ignoring him other than to lob treats his way…

    He’s much better than he used to be though. Just today he sat beautifully to get strokes from an elderly woman on our walk…very happy to say hi outside now 🙂


    1. As far as we know yeah that was her first time swimming, she would go into streams while we are out walking but never higher than her stomach, she never really got a chance to swim and I would’ve been a bit scared of letting her since I wasn’t sure if she could or not. I would love to see a photo of Kasper in the canal!

      Strangers is one of the few things Bonnie isn’t reactive to as long as they aren’t loud, making erratic or violent movements or on a skateboard as we recently found out she doesn’t like. A few treat visits would be a great idea to get Kasper comfortable. That’s brilliant progress you’ve made with him, it’s always great to look back and see how far you’ve come together as a team 🙂


      1. Bless her, she did awesome then 🙂

        Here’s Kasper swimming in the canal in the dark…we have since bought a longer longline so need to take him again so he can swim bank to bank 😀

        Thank you. He has come on a long way, and he’s very rarely fearful any more. I hadn’t really thought about how much progress he’s made in that regard…I knew he’d got better but I can’t remember the last time he was scared of somebody – he’s a goodun! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading this as Ellie is fascinated by water but has never got to go swimming. There is a pool some distance away and after reading how well Bonnie enjoyed her session, I now want to take Ellie. One question did you go in the pool with her?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you do go definitely put up photos of Ellie in the pool☺ no I wasn’t in the pool with her and I don’t think we would be allowed in for health and safety reasons but the staff member was in with her the whole time. But now you mention it I’m curious what she would be like if we were swimming too, along with her.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joanne, I’d love to take Bonnie swimming again! It’s such good exercise for her, both physical and mental stimulation which makes her a happy, tired dog 🙂


    1. Hi Clare thanks for stopping by! Thanks for letting me know about the Omagh Paddling Pups – I’ll make sure to add it to our dog friendly NI map. I’d love to get Bonnie swimming again so will definitely need to arrange a visit sometime soon, can’t wait!


    1. Hopefully you can find somewhere 🙂 It’s really good exercise for dogs especially those that are older or have joint problems as it’s not load bearing like walking.


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