Lonely Planet Writer

See the doggy-paddle up close at a canine swimming gala in London

If your dog loves splashing about in the water, you may wish to bring it along to a swimming gala for dogs in London on 17 July. The gala aims to encourage pet-owners to celebrate the summer with their dogs and discover ways to keep them cool in hot weather. Pet-sitting and dog-walking service, Rover.com, is celebrating its UK launch by hosting the special event at West Reservoir Water Sports Centre in Hackney.

London is hosting a swimming gala for dogs. Image: Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Owners can sign their dogs up for free 30-minute swim sessions, and they can also be entered into the 10m race. The dog that completes a length of the pool in the fastest time will be crowned the winner, and it will receive a month’s worth of free dog walks. The pooches can also enjoy dog-themed inflatables, have fun playing a game of dog polo or enjoy munching on icy treats. If your pet loves swimming, a vet and canine aqua specialist will be available to provide advice on how to keep them safe in the water.

A swimming gala for dogs will be held in London. Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dog experts from Rover will also be on hand to offer tips on how to keep dogs cool in hot weather – which is important as pets can easily overheat – and they will describe how owners can best enjoy the summer months with their pet. “We know that UK pet parents are crazy about their dogs, so we can’t wait to introduce Rover to the region through the first-ever dog swimming gala,” says Christopher Cederskog, European general manager.

If you’re up for a day of doggy splash-filled fun, sign up for tickets for the swimming gala via this link. Learn more at Rover.com.