Dog Pool Safety Tips For This Summer

By: Camp Bow Wow | Published 06/18/2024


With summer in full swing, pools are open and ready to be enjoyed by every member of the family — Fido included. If you’re ready to hop into the pool with your furry friend this season, make sure you do everything possible to keep them safe.

Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Water

  • Not all dogs can doggy paddle. Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and Newfoundlands are known for their natural ability to swim. But not all breeds share their love of the water. Many dogs aren’t natural-born swimmers — in fact, water can be dangerous for some breeds
  • Think beyond breed. Breeds are often generalized. While it’s true some are better at swimming than others, you shouldn’t assume your dog can swim, even if their breed is known for it. Each dog is unique, and their swimming abilities can vary widely.
  • Always watch your dog in the pool. Even if your dog is a natural in the water, they should never be left alone in a pool unsupervised. Not only is there a risk of drowning, but too much time spent in chlorinated water can irritate their skin. If your pup loves spending time in the water, make sure to check their skin every hour.
  • Start off slow. The last thing you should do is force your dog into the pool before they’re ready. Instead, start them on the steps or in a kiddie pool. Once they’re comfortable, you can move on to the deep end. This gradual introduction will help them build confidence and ensure they have a positive experience.
  • Invest in floaties. Floaties aren’t just for little kids anymore! If your dog loves the water but isn’t the best swimmer, a canine vest can help them enjoy the water safely. These vests provide buoyancy and allow your dog to have fun without the risk of exhaustion or drowning.
  • Secure your pool. If you have an inground pool, make sure it’s secured with a fence. Just like little kids, it’s possible for your pup to fall in and get stuck. A secure fence with a self-latching gate can prevent accidental falls and keep your dog safe when you’re not around.
  • Rinse off after swimming. Chlorine and other pool chemicals can be harsh on your dog’s skin and coat. After swimming, give your dog a thorough rinse with fresh water to remove any residual chemicals. This will help prevent skin irritation and keep their coat healthy.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water. Swimming can be dehydrating for dogs, especially on hot summer days. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Encourage them to take breaks from swimming to drink and rest in the shade.
  • Learn pet CPR. In case of an emergency, knowing how to perform CPR on your dog can be life-saving. Consider taking a pet CPR and first aid course so you’re prepared for any situation that may arise.

Understanding pool etiquette for dogs is also essential. Train your dog to enter and exit the pool using designated areas, such as the steps or a ramp. This prevents damage to the pool and ensures your dog knows how to get out safely. Regularly check your pool for any debris that your dog might bring in, such as fur or toys, and clean the pool filter more frequently to ensure it remains efficient and free from blockages. Always provide a bowl of fresh water near the pool, as dogs might be tempted to drink pool water, which can contain harmful chemicals. Keeping them hydrated with clean water reduces this risk!

Also always check for signs of fatigue. Swimming is an intense activity, especially for dogs that aren’t used to it. Watch for signs of fatigue such as heavy panting, slowing down, or struggling to stay afloat. Encourage your dog to take regular breaks to rest and recover. Water can get trapped in your dog’s ears, leading to infections. After swimming, gently dry your dog’s ears with a soft towel. Consult your veterinarian about ear cleaning solutions that can help prevent infections. Dogs can overheat quickly, especially when playing in the sun. Keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy. Provide shade and plenty of water, and limit their time in the sun during peak hours.

Summer is a fantastic time to enjoy the pool with your dog, creating memorable moments and keeping them cool in the heat. By following these safety tips and staying vigilant, you can ensure that your dog remains safe, healthy, and happy during your aquatic adventures. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in making pool time a fun and safe experience for everyone involved. Happy swimming!

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