Keep Your Dog Safe Around the Pool
The pool is a wonderful place to play and exercise and can be a terrific source of enjoyment. It can also be a huge hazard to your dog. Most people are unaware of the attraction a pool holds for dogs, and the potential dangers. Just like for humans, knowing the risks and how to prevent them can help avoid tragedy.
If you have a pool, keep these dog safety tips in mind as you enjoy swimming:
Remember, not all dogs are great swimmers, and some can even drown if left unattended. Bulldogs and other “squishy faced” breeds are more likely to have problems in the water.
Gradually introduce your pet to the water. Get in with them, holding them close and firmly to your side. Walk in slowly and provide a ride around the pool until the dog is comfortable.
Give your dog a swim test. Make sure your dog uses both front and back paws to paddle and can turn in the water to head back to the side.
Consider using a life-vest made for dogs. This will give the added buoyancy needed to stay afloat.
Make sure your dog knows the “stay” command. This is helpful if you want the dog to stay out of the water when the family is roughhousing or playing in a way that would endanger your dog.
Avoid leaving floating toys in the water. Toys can be a huge attraction for your pet and they may be tempted to go in the pool unsupervised to retrieve them.
Look for signs of exhaustion. Even if your pet loves the water, it can become too tired to make it out of the pool. When the legs start to slow, help you pet out of the pool for a rest.
Mark the steps of the pool with a plant or other object. Dogs do not have great depth perception and may not see the steps and become panicked.
Make sure your pool steps have gripping tape or a secure rubber mat to help the pet gain traction when getting out of the pool.
Secure your pool with fencing that is impenetrable, even to your dog.
Use a solid pool cover that can lock down and can support weight. Dogs can easily find a way under an unsecured pool cover, but cannot get out.
Do not let your dog drink pool water. The chemicals can cause severe intestinal distress.
Give your dog’s coat and skin extra attention.Pool chemicals can be harsh on your dog’s coat and skin. Look for signs of drying or chapping. Use a high quality shampoo and conditioner or get your dog groomed regularly to avoid problems with their skin or coat.
Pool safety is important for everyone, including dogs. Make sure your entire family knows the rules of pool safety.
Click on these links for more tips:
Yippee, Pool Party! I Association of Professional Dog Trainers
Keep Your Dog Safe Around the Pool this Summer I The Whole Dog Journal