People are generally pretty aware when it comes to pool safety for young children. Unfortunately, not everyone considers our four-legged friends. Dogs, especially older dogs, could be at a high risk for drowning if proper precautions are not taken. So, whether you let your dog swim in the pool or not, here are some great tips for making sure all the family members have a safe and successful swim season.
Should I Let My Dog Swim in The Pool?
If your dog is physically capable of swimming, then you can let them swim. Try to be aware of water consumption. If a dog ingests too much pool water, it can be bad for their gastrointestinal system. Even if you have a salt water pool and the dog is not swallowing typical chlorine, the salt water could be dangerous from an electrolyte standpoint.
If you are not sure if your dog can swim or not, you need to try. Not knowing if your dog would make it if they should fall into the pool is not safe. Test the water out slowly. Many people believe that all dogs are natural swimmers, and this is just not the case. Spend some time in the pool with your dog, stay close by, see if they can swim.
If you find that your dog can not swim, there is always the option for swim lessons. You can teach your dog yourself, and you can hire the help of a dog trainer. Either way, your dog can learn to swim. This is a precaution worth taking, just the same as it for children.
If you have an older dog or, for some reason, your dog can’t learn to swim, buying a life vest is a great preventative measure. Make sure to order the correct size to fit your dog and support their weight. If your dog is left alone outside for a portion of the day and drowning is a concern, the life vest is a great way to deal with this issue.
Do you know what to do should an emergency occur? Many people know how to do CPR on adults and children, but it can also save the life of your dog. If you have a pool and your dog is swimming often, its essential that you know how to respond in a near-drowning incident.
Usually, it is not something that happens on your dog’s best day. When your dog is sick or as they age, or in cases of heatstroke, they may struggle and end up having a near-drowning experience. This is a traumatic event for all involved, and knowing dog CPR could potentially save the life of your dog.
If you don’t want your dog even near the pool, or at least, not unless you are carefully supervising them, then put up a fence. Fencing options vary in price and can be installed rather quickly. The most significant thing to pay attention to for dog owners is that the height of the fence is enough. Make sure your dog cannot jump over and that the gate on the fence cannot be pushed open. There are some talented dogs out there that will learn how to maneuver their way into the fenced-in area, so be sure you have the pool on lockdown.
It would be best if you took extra precautions when it comes to older dogs. Although you should never let a dog swim without supervision, paying proper attention is crucial when it comes to older dogs. Many older dogs struggle with arthritis and will tire quickly. In addition to arthritis, dogs can start to lose their eyesight and have dementia issues.
Your dog may unknowingly step into the pool and be caught off guard. Use any of the solutions mentioned above, including the pool vest, a fence, and maybe even a pool alarm.
Pool alarms are a great way to alert you if something were to fall in your pool. When the level of the water in your pool suddenly changes, a signal will sound both inside and outside your home. If a small dog were to fall into the pool and not be able to get out, this would alert you with enough time to save the animal.
If you are fine with your dog swimming in the pool but just want to know when they go in, there is a model that allows you to strap a sensor around the collar. When the dog goes in the pool, you will be alerted as to their activity. Although this option can also be used as an alarm, it might help just for general knowledge during a party or when you are not paying close attention to the dog.
It’s great that you have a ladder in the deep end of your pool, but could your dog climb out? For most, the answer is no. If your dog were to fall in the pool unexpectedly, do they have an escape route? Most times, cats and other small animals will be able to figure out a way to climb, but dogs can struggle with this. The good news is that there is a fix for this. You can purchase a dog pool exit ramp to be sure that your dog has an escape route and a way out of the pool. These ramps will not damage your pool deck and are made of quality PVC components and even come in colors that are easier for dogs and cats to see.
Deciding to let your dog be a swimmer is entirely a personal choice. Protecting the safety of your pets is not a choice; it is a responsibility. The steps that we mentioned to make sure your pet has a safe summer of swimming, or hanging around the pool are not tricky. Awareness that dogs can and will have drowning accidents is essential for all homeowners to understand.
Featured Image Credit: Helena Lopez, Pexels
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.