Swimming Pool Safety for Pets
10 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe Around the Pool
Many breeds of dogs love water. Owners of Labrador Retrievers and large poodles will know this well. But whether or not your dog has a natural affinity for water, there are safety considerations for dogs and pools. Take a look at our 10 tips for swimming pool safety for pets.
Teach your dog to swim
Dogs aren’t born able to swim; they need to be taught. Start them young, perhaps in conjunction with obedience training, and go slow. You don’t want to traumatize the animal by pushing too hard. Take cues from your dog’s personality, and realize that some dogs may fear water, just as people do.
Don’t leave your dog unattended poolside
Just as you would with a toddler, supervise your animal pool-side. Never leave them in the water unattended. They could tire, injure themselves, or swallow water and become ill.
Make sure your dog is able to get out of the pool
Stairs, ladders, shallow end entries – make sure your animal knows how to exit the water safely. And if your dog is older, realize that they may need a helping hand.
Get a life vest for your dog
It’s not as crazy as it sounds. There are a ton of lightweight, colorful and comfortable canine PFDs on the market. Some that are designed specifically for small dogs have handles for easy grabbing and rescue. Just don’t leave the animal in the jacket unless they are going to swim.
Discourage dogs from drinking pool water
Though it’s not technically toxic for dogs to ingest, rapidly drinking chlorinated or salted pool water can cause some dogs to aspirate and choke. And, according to some sources, drinking pool water can cause diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal issues.
Play in the water with your dog
Playing in the pool is great exercise for all involved, including your canine sidekick. Early on it can teach them how to be comfortable in the water, and how to get in and out safely.
Keep your dog cool and hydrated
Your dog needs access to shade while pool-side and fresh water always. On sunny days, limit the amount of time they are in the pool in direct sun.
Learn pet CPR
Accidents happen. Ask your vet about certification courses that can teach you how to revive and resuscitate your animal, and keep them stable until you can get a vet involved. The American Kennel Club also has some online resources for learning the basics
Don’t let them get over tired
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of effort a dog exerts to keep afloat. If they love the water, it can be even harder. Give your pet frequent breaks from swimming, keeping them calm and shaded to rest up for the next round of fun.
Beware the chlorine
According to the American Kennel Club, the big issue is not with chlorinated water, “… the toxic concerns are with dogs getting into chlorine tablets,” notes Chief Veterinary Officer of American Kennel Club Dr. Klein. Nonetheless, the Club suggests rinsing off your dog if they’ve been in the pool, to rid their coat of excess chemicals.
At BPS Pools (Backyard Pool Specialists) we care about pool owners and their pets. We hope you have gained valuable knowledge by reading our “10 Tips for Swimming Pool Safety for Pets.” Have a great summer! Stay safe! If you are in need of additional pool services do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our team will be happy to assist you.