Did you know Suffolk’s dog swimming pool now does food and beer?
- Credit: Archant
Find out what’s on offer for all the family this summer at the multi-award winning Canine Dip and Dive
North Suffolk’s very own dog swimming pool, Canine Dip and Dive, is now letting owners swim with their pooches during this sweltering summer weather - and visitors can now also grab a bite to eat and a locally-brewed beer from neighbouring Star Wing Brewery.
The pool, which has been in Redgrave since August 2017, is run by Andy Brownlie and his wife Jo Allen. It has since gone on to win Best Day Out for Dogs in the UK at the National Dog Friendly Awards two years in a row – and is up for nomination again this year.
Having had to temporarily close their doors earlier this year due to coronavirus, the two reopened their pool back in May, adhering to strict social distancing guidelines in order to ensure that both pet and owner were safe.
Andy Brownlie, senior splashmaker at Canine Dip and Dive said: “When lockdown started to ease and people could move around a bit more, we managed to open, albeit with reduced sessions. We restricted group sessions to two households who stood on opposite sides of the pool, and two people per household. We provided disposable gloves and alcohol hand gel for everyone, and we sprayed down all the all surfaces between each session.
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“But as restrictions have eased slightly, we now allow three households into group sessions with the extra standing at the end of the pool, and up to two owners at a time actually in the pool for both group and solo sessions. We are still sticking to the two-metre rule however, and have a separate entrance and exit to avoid crossover.”
Despite the restrictions this season, the pool has still seen a high number of bookings, with business booming. “We have still been so busy, particularly in this sunny, hot weather! Owners are now taking full advantage of being able to jump into the refreshing, cool water.”
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With Star Wing Brewery reopen and offering a beer tent for drinks and lunches, a day at Canine Dip and Dive is proving to be a popular family day out – whether you’ve got two legs or four!
“Dogs are allowed in all areas and there is even a big jar of free dog biscuits on the bar. There are also marked footpaths around the neighbouring fields to work off some of the beer, lunch and cakes from Mick the Bakers.
“You can sit at one of the picnic tables or on one of the hay bales to watch the dogs enjoying a splash or see them diving headlong into the pool to grab a tennis ball. A recent visit from Barley had visitors staring in disbelief as she jumped time and again at distances up to 19ft.”
The Redgrave pool offers a range of sessions and classes for dogs of all shapes, sizes and abilities, including puppy classes, senior swims, pool parties and diving sessions.
“We also provide solo swims, so that nervous dogs can get help learning to swim. A recent visitor, Biffy the collie, was brought to us after being told by a hydrotherapist that he couldn’t swim following four sessions in the pool. His problem was that his bum sank and he just splashed furiously on the spot and went nowhere, earning him the nickname ‘food mixer’.
“Well we got him in the pool to see this for ourselves, and he was funny, but by the end of this first session, he was swimming calmly up and down the pool like a pro. He has been back since and is now an accomplished swimmer and also won ‘most improved swimmer’ of the month. We also had little Parker the black Lab puppy who came for a gentle introduction to water and boy did she surprise us all. She loves her mum so much that she just dived straight in and swam to her perfectly.”
With so many dogs taking so quickly to the water under Andy’s guidance, it’s not hard to see why Canine Dip and Dive is up for Best Day Out for Dogs third year in a row. “Star Wing Brewery has also been nominated in the Dog Friendly Pub category, so we are both hoping for lots of votes to bring the awards to Suffolk,” Andy added.