I'm sure you'll agree that the pool is an excellent place to spend your summers. I mean, who doesn’t want to spend their free time relaxing on a pool float in the sun with a refreshing drink in hand? Especially when you've been waiting all winter for pool season to finally arrive! With that in mind, pools can be dangerous for our fur-babies *insert sad face here!*
As we would with our children, we have to exercise caution whenever our dogs are chilling poolside. The below tips will help make sure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe time in the pool this summer.
- Always remember that it’s not your dog’s breed that determines if they are a strong swimmer, it’s their personality. You may think that because your dog is a (insert breed here), it’s a good swimmer and has a natural inclination to love the water, but that’s not the case. Your dog will develop a relationship with the water based on who they are, not what breed they are.
- Teach your dog to swim! If you don’t feel comfortable teaching your dog to swim, enlist the help of a dog trainer. They are equipped to teach your pooch the basics of swimming as well as handle any fear of water that they may have. Keep in mind that your dog should probably start in a kiddie pool before jumping in the deep end of your swimming pool!
- Life vests/jackets are a great investment. Not only will they help your furbaby stay afloat, they also allow them to remain highly visible! That being said, don’t rely on the vest to be able to leave your pup unattended. They could get tired or swallow some water or other pool hazard and may need your help.
- Play in the water with your dog! Not only is it great fun, it’s also the best way to ensure that they are safe.
- Make sure your pooch can get out of the pool. This is so impawtent! If your dog doesn’t think there is an exit, they will stay in the pool until they are dangerously exhausted. There are a number of different ramps that you can install which will make exiting easier for small or elderly dogs.
- Learn dog CPR. It’s better to know it and not need it, than to need it and not know it. Some animal organizations and shelters even offer classes on the proper techniques.
- Take care with older dogs. Senior dogs are more likely to suffer from health issues including arthritis, vision loss and seizures. These health issues may mean that they require special attention when swimming, or may prohibit them from swimming altogether. Always confirm with your veterinarian that you pooch is healthy enough to swim.
- If your dog spends lots of their time unsupervised in the yard, a pool fence or enclosure is a great investment. There are so many options now when it comes to enclosures; you don’t have to have a metal fence.
- Floating pool covers… just say no! Floating covers in homes with children or pets are extremely dangerous. Invest in a safety cover that fits the entire pool and is anchored in place to create a physical barrier between the water and those around the pool.
- After swimming in the pool, help avoid any potential irritation caused by chlorine and other chemicals by rinsing your dog off with clean water.
Remember! Being around the pool in the summer heat can cause heat stroke. Be sure to watch for symptoms and always make sure you pooch has access to clean drinking water, and some shade. Signs of heat stroke include lethargy, excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth.
By keeping all of these tips in mind, you and your furbaby can enjoy a safe and fun summer!