Summer has arrived, and that means people will be opening up their home pools to get some cool relief from the dry desert heat. If you have a dog, pool safety includes a few considerations other pool owners might not have to worry about. Pool safety for pets is an often forgotten topic when discussing safe pool usage with new owners, but with information, planning, and preparation, you can make sure your fur-babies can enjoy your home pool safely throughout the season.
Pets And The Pool
As a pool owner, you want to create a safe, fun place for relaxation, exercise, and entertainment. Pets can absolutely be a part of that. The difficulty in dog pool safety comes from the level of attention needed by you, often without the full informed cooperation of your pooch. While pets may be able to infer a lot from our tone, body language, and training practices, they can’t, unfortunately, understand us word for word the way another human, even a child, can. That means that while they will want to please you, most will take lots of attention, supervision, and repetition to form good poolside habits.
Preparation Is Key
Before you even consider bringing your pet into the water, there are some things you need to take care of to put dog pool safety front and center.
- Get A Pet Safety Fence Around Your Pool – Specially designed pet fences can leave your pool area beautiful and your pooch protected, and they’re a great first step in pool safety for pets. They should use strong, well-anchored poles that can handle the jumping and pushing of larger animals while using a fence mesh that is both resistant to chewing and claws while also having holes that are too tight to allow small breeds to slip through.
- Get A Pool Safety Cover – Do not opt for the cheaper alternative of a floating pool cover. While floating pool covers can keep debris from your pool, they become lethal traps should an animal or person fall in. Floating covers wrap around the victim, trapping their limbs and dragging them under. Safety covers are anchored and designed to prevent fall-throughs. A combination of a safety fence and a safety cover is a powerful tool for dog pool safety.
- Make Easy To Use Exits – If your pool does not have a large, shallow stairway or gentle inclination to enter or exit the water, you will need to install pet steps or ramps. Especially when tired, dogs can have problems with large steps or ladders. They need an easy way to get out of the pol, even when exhausted.
- Remove Or Secure Pool-Area Hazards – Always a part of pool safety, for dogs this takes on increased importance. Watch for glass, debris, and material that can cause slips, trips, and falls, but also keep an eye out on other hazards a human may know to avoid. Any electrical appliances should be secured far away from water, such as stereos or lamps. Mechanical housings should be closed and secured.
Supervise Them Constantly
- Only Allow Access With You Present – Just as with a human child, don’t let them get in the pool, then go back inside your house. An important part of pool safety for pets is monitoring the situation closely and reacting to potential issues before they become dangerous.
- Get Floaties/Life Vests – If you plan on allowing extended swim time for your dog, pool safety is improved by specially designed flotation gear. Dog-appropriate swim accessories will still let them enjoy the water without fatigue, or poor swimming skills becoming a life-threatening concern.
- Teach Them To Swim – Many people assume all dogs are natural swimmers. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and even dogs who can swim can be trained to swim better. Just as obedience training can help them have more fun on walks, swimming can be improved with lessons.
- Teach Them Patience About Other Swimmers – Dog pool safety includes teaching the skills needed for others to be safer around your dog. While excitement is great, a hundred pounds of impatient flying dog while a child is practicing their laps, can turn into disaster.
Stay Aware Of Your Pet Parent Responsibilities
- Be Aware Of Tile Heat – The pads of your dog’s paws are delicate, and sun-baked tile can easily cause blisters and burns. Whether you wet a walking area to cool it, have a shaded path, or find a non-heat conducting walkway solution, you’ll want to make sure they’re able to get to and from the pool comfortably.
- Older And Smaller Dogs May Need More Assistance – Hydrotherapy can be a huge relief to arthritic joints, but it can be tiring as well. Dogs that are older, have health conditions, or are smaller in size may need help getting out of the pool, especially as they step out of the water, heavy from a wet coat.
- Provide Plenty Of Clean Water – Pool safety for dogs includes making sure they don’t drink too much pool water. While the little bit they get swimming should not cause any complications, too much can make them sick. Keep fresh water readily available for easy drinking. Make sure they not only know where it’s at, but encourage them to drink from it regularly.
- Rinse Them Afterward – You like to clean the chlorine out of your hair after a dip–so does your dog! If your dog has sensitive skin, a good rinse can help them get the benefits of swimming without irritation afterwards. A good rinse helps protect their skin and fur from damage.
- Learn Dog CPR – Classes that cover animal CPR are available and you should consider getting certified. You’ll learn skills to help save an animal’s life in a variety of situations, making you a better companion to them.
Safety First, Last, And Always
We’re ready to help you create a safer pool for your family, friends, and furry loved ones. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts about safety options that work with your pool and safety needs. Get help with pool safety for your dog from Aqua-Safe Unlimited today.