School is out, vacations are on, and it’s HOT out there! It’s no surprise that many of us have our eyes on swimming and lounging poolside during the warm summer months. For those with pets, however, there are some considerations to take when it comes to ensuring the safety of your furry friend. Each year, hundreds of accidental drownings occur among dogs (and other pets). To help prevent such tragedies, Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic wants to spotlight how to keep your pet safe around pools (and other bodies of water).
An Unfortunate Misconception
Contrary to popular belief, your pet may not be any better at swimming than you were when you first started. Not all pets are suited to the water, such as brachycephalic breeds (e.g., pugs and bulldogs), young pets, senior pets, and those will compromised health. In addition, certain pets may not like water, and all pets need some form of supervision and training in order to swim like a pro.
The other issue with pools is that they’re often hard to get in and out of for pets. So, unless you install pet friendly stairs or a pool ramp, it’s impossible for most pets to hoist their way out if they fall in.
Keeping Your Pet Safe Around Pools
Despite some of the risks associated with pets and pools, the two can be harmonious when a few precautions are taken. After all, backyard fun with water is always appreciated on a sizzling hot day! Here are some suggestions that are made in the shade when it comes to pool safety:
- Perimeter fencing is a great option. If your pet has access to the backyard, one way to keep your pet away from the pool is with fencing. This is also important for those with young children.
- Pool alarms are useful! You can install an alarm that alerts you whenever someone is in the pool.
- Install a pet ramp. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s hard (if not impossible) for pets to hoist themselves out of the pool, and sometimes, regular steps and ladders aren’t pet friendly. Consider a pet ramp that’s designed for easy entry and exit out of the pool.
- Teach your pet to swim first. Not all pets are adept swimmers, and they require practice and acclimation to deeper water. Consider professional pet swimming lessons or ease your pet into the deep end after practicing for a few weeks in shallow water. This can give you insight into their comfort level around water.
- Supervision is a must. Even if your pet is an Olympic-worthy swimmer, it’s important to supervise any time your dog (or young kids) are in the water. After all, accidents can happen to anyone, and pets get fatigued in the water just like humans.
- Rinse off! After a day in the pool, be sure to rinse off, as pool water contains chlorine and other chemicals that can harm your pet if ingested. It can also be drying to the skin and coat (a moisturizing pet product is a good idea after swimming). Oh, and don’t forget to use a pet formulated sunscreen outside!
If you have any questions about how to keep your pet safe around pools, please give us a call. Stay cool and enjoy the water!