Can Cows Swim? Do They Like Swimming?

Cows Swimming

Cows are very useful animals for humans to keep around. They provide milk and beef and can even be good pets for some. Beef and milk are ingredients that some Americans enjoy almost on a daily basis so the importance of these animals can’t be ignored. . Cows are among the biggest animals that humans have domesticated and keep for food and there are a lot of very intriguing facts about them. One of the most asked questions, especially by people that live close to water, is whether or not cows can swim.

So, can cows swim?

The short answer is yes, cows can swim. But that’s not all. Keep reading this article to find a lot more about how they swim, whether or not they are good at it and whether or not they like it.

It might come as a surprise, but not only can cows swim, but they are pretty great at it as well. Most mammals, including cows, will swim very naturally over a pond or a stream of water. Humans seem to be the only mammals that actually have to learn how to swim and have a hard time doing so. Most cows can even cover a with ease large distance while swimming.

Why Would Cows Swim?

Cows will not only get in the water to cool down on hotter days but also to reach better grazing lands and sometimes they will get in deep waters to escape predators that are worse at swimming than they are. It’s not uncommon to notice cows in waters during floods and they will also take their calves with them.

How Do Cows Swim?

You will notice that cows use the same movements for swimming as they do for walking. They use their very powerful legs as paddles to propel them in water and their considerably big bodies will give them the buoyancy they will require to keep them afloat. An interesting fact is that cows will actually swim for longer distances than they can walk because their legs won’t use all that energy to support their huge weight, which means they will get tired a lot harder.

Seeing that they can’t breathe underwater, cows will keep their heads above water and their horns will help their head stay tilted back. This will help them keep both their nose and their mouth out of the water.

Do Cows Like Swimming?

Cow swimming with dolphinIt seems that cows actually like swimming quite a lot. It’s not uncommon for cows to enter the water without any apparent reason and they will most often take their calves with them. As most cows are over 1,500 pounds in weight, it’s understandable why it might be very relaxing for them to spend time in the water. It also comes naturally for them to swim, so they will do it often to get better food, cool down, or escape from threats.

It’s not uncommon for cows that don’t have water around them from an early age, to be afraid of getting in the water, at least for a while, before they get used to swimming. This usually doesn’t take long and, as soon as the cow is exposed to water on a regular basis, it will enter the water and forget all about its fears.

Can Swimming be Dangerous for Cows?

The short answer is no, swimming is not a dangerous activity for cows. They are born natural swimmers and they do this pretty easily, which means they won’t have any issues in or around water. They might only have issues if they get too tired and they have a hard time reaching land, but this will hardly ever happen, seeing that swimming is considerably easier than walking for them, so they can go through miles and miles of water before getting tired.

Even smaller calves will have a great time swimming and won’t get tired too easily but if for any reason they won’t be able to get out of the water after some time, then the cow might actually get tired and drown.

Benefits of Swimming for Cows

  • There were instances in the past when cows actually used their swimming skills to escape the slaughterhouse by riding a waterslide right into a pool.
  • They use swimming to rehydrate their skin.
  • It reduces anxiety.
  • It will also strengthen their leg muscles
  • Swimming decreases muscle inflammation.
  • Cows also swim to strengthen their heart and lungs and improve blood circulation.
  • It boosts their metabolism.
  • Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise.


As stated above, you will easily notice that cows are great swimmers and they enjoy time spent in the water as well. This might have come with time, while cows lived in the wild and had to find ways to escape all kinds of predators. Swimming will also help these animals reach places with new, better food for many wild cows. They will also get in the water from time to time for no apparent reason, which means that they use this activity as a way of relaxing and stretching their legs as well.

This article should have answered your question about whether or not cows can swim and I hope you find it enjoyable as well. If you have any more questions about cows and how they act around water, leave a comment below and I’ll either add to the article or write a new one just for you. If you like my content, it would help me a bunch if you shared it with your friends.

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