Summer is here! Hot days and swimming pools go together. But just because your kids are great swimmers doesn’t mean your four legged kids are too. Now is the time to think about preventing pool accidents for your pets. It requires planning and careful supervision.
An effective way to prevent an accidental fall-in is to limit time near the pool. Dr. James Barr, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences believes a good gate is the best way to keep your dog safe. “Keeping the door closed at all times is important for children and dogs alike, as is only allowing them to be in the pool area supervised.”
There is a common misconception that all dogs are good swimmers. This misconception can be life threatening to your pet. Some dogs are notoriously bad swimmers such as English bulldogs, American bulldogs, and French bulldogs. So, it’s extremely important to teach these dogs how to swim to prevent drowning.
On a hot, summer day, it’s only natural for your dog to want to cool off in the water but there should be set limitations for dogs of a certain age or a dog with medical conditions. Always check with your veterinarian before allowing your dog to swim.
The most common reason for a dog drowning is due to the dog suffering from dementia or is blind or both. The dog may fall into the pool and is unable to get out. A big safety concern is whether or not your dog can get in and out of the pool on its own. You should work with your dog in a shallow end of the pool to determine your dog’s comfort level in the water. Show your dog how to exit the pool safely and be close by in case your dog needs assistance. Be aware of any medical issues with your pet which may contribute to their inability to swim safely.
The most important precautionary measure you can take with your pet and your pool, is simply adequate supervision. Never leave your pet unattended around a pool. It can lead to an unnecessary injury. Teaching your dog how to swim and be safe in the water is a great bonding experience for the two of you. Your dog will develop confidence in you and the water. These simple steps can keep the pool fun and allow a safe environment for all.