If you're like most dog owners, chances are you keep your dog's needs and its safety in mind when making any decision regarding your home and property. The backyard pool is no different and if you're lucky enough to enjoy an in-ground pool (or are wanting to have one installed by a pool company), it's vital your dog's safety is your biggest consideration. From making sure your dog can't access the pool while you're not around to ensuring the chemicals used to keep the water clean don't harm your pooch, here are a few pet pool safety tips:
Fences, Pool Covers and Other Safety Equipment
If you don't have children, or aren't aware of your state's pool fence laws, you may have neglected to even install a fence around your in-ground pool. However, while it's important to abide by your state's laws, it's also just as important to install a fence around your pool if you have a dog.
Consider a pool fence that encloses the entire pool, especially if your dog is allowed to roam free in your backyard.
If your in-ground pool features a cover, it's vital to remove it immediately, especially if you don't already have an existing pool fence. It's very easy for your curious pooch to explore underneath the cover, which could cause it to become trapped.
In addition to installing a pool fence and getting rid of your pool cover, there are other safety measures you can take. For example, there are pool disturbance alarms that go off whenever movement is detected around the pool's perimeter.
Finally, whether your dog is an expert swimmer or needs some help in the water, it's important to provide your furry family member with its own life vest. These vests are available in a variety of sizes, so make sure the model is the correct size for your pooch.
Enjoying the Pool With Your Dog
Before you allow your dog to jump in and enjoy the pool on a warm summer day, it's important that they are able to safely climb back out on their own. Even if your pool features steps or a zero-depth entrance, consider investing in a pet pool ramp. These ramps are much easier for your dog to use, and available at pet stores at a variety of price points.
Here are a few additional tips to help ensure your dog remains safe while enjoying the backyard pool:
Never leave your dog unattended. Even experienced swimmers can become too tired to exit the pool on their own, which can lead to an accidental drowning.
Continue to utilize your dog's obedience training while around the pool. If your dog gets excited, it could lead to a slip, fall or accidental drowning.
Take a doggie CPR class. If there aren't any classes available in your area, search the internet for the basic techniques.
Watch for signs that you dog is getting tired and needs a break from the pool. If your dog is panting heavily or trying to drink the water, slowly lead it out of the pool and give it a drink of clean water. Let your dog rest in a shady spot for a few minutes before allowing it back into the water.
Finally, the American Kennel Club urges dog owners to rinse their dog off with a garden hose after exiting the water. Dogs are more sensitive to chlorine, so rinsing the pool water off your pooch each time it exits the water will help prevent any irritation or infections that might occur.
Playing with your dog in the backyard pool can be a great way for both of you to stay in shape and enjoy a break from the summer's heat. However, before you allow your dog to enjoy its first pool experience, it's vital to first ensure your furry baby is safe.