With temperatures rising, time around the pool or other bodies of water are a welcome relief for both dogs and pet owners alike. However, pool safety is important for dogs too, because your dog may know how to get into the pool, but not how to get out. Even water breeds like the Labrador Retriever need to be taught to swim to the steps of the pool in order to get out. Keep in mind that even if your dog can swim, there is still the potential for accidents like falling in, so it’s a good idea to be vigilant about safety around any body of water, and always supervise your dog.
Which Dogs are High Risk for Drowning?
Drowning is actually more likely in certain breeds, like bulldogs. Other factors can increase your dog’s risk for drowning too, like elderly dogs with dementia or vision loss, dogs with arthritis who may be less mobile, and dogs with seizure disorders. Even a dog who knows how to swim can panic after falling in, so err on the side of caution and never assume that your dog can take care of herself.
How Do I Reduce the Risk?
Protective fencing around your pool is a great idea. Be sure to inspect the fencing frequently to make sure that it is in good repair, and that your dog can’t get over, under, or through it. You can also get a sensor device that detects motion in or around the pool that you can mount, wear, or have floating in the pool. The trick with these is to stay within earshot of the alarm.
There are also life vests that you can have your dog wear if she is not a strong swimmer or can’t swim. It’s important to remember that even with a life vest on your dog, you should still supervise her at all times. If your pool doesn’t have steps, you can also buy a ladder designed for pets or a ramp to aid your dog in exiting the pool. Your dog will still need training in order to know how to use these devices.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a pool blanket or cover can look like a solid surface to a dog, so remove it before your dog gets near the pool, or have it secured fast so that falling in is not a possibility.
To Wrap it Up
The bottom line is that you can never be too safe when it comes to pets and water, so always supervise, and with these tips, you should be well on your way to a safe and happy summer—pool included!