15 July 2015

Keep Your Pooch Safe at the Pool

When you think of dogs and water, an image of a happy pooch paddling away in a pool or creek comes to mind. While it’s true that most dogs have a great swimming instinct, they may not know what’s best for their own safety when they hit the water. Here are some ways to keep your dog safe by the pool.

Stay nearby

Just because your dog can get in the pool by itself, it doesn’t mean you should leave them unattended. Dogs tend to try to exit a body of water at the same place that they entered it, so if your dog jumps in from the side, it may be too steep to climb back out.

It’s best if you introduce your dog to the pool first, at the steps if possible, and encourage your dog to come back to that point to exit. You can do this by either swimming with your dog and guiding it to the steps, or attaching a recall leash to your dog’s collar. Use the leash to guide your dog back to the steps when it’s time to exit the pool.

After your dog begins to go to the steps on her own, you can try putting her in at other spots around the pool, calling your pet towards the steps if needed.

Watch for fatigue

Dogs can tire very quickly. If they don’t know how to get out of a body of water, they can drown. If your dog’s swimming becomes slow or laboured, pull your pet out of the water.

Look out for hidden dangers

If your pool has a floating chemical dispenser or other floating toys, make sure your dog doesn’t try to chew them. Pool chemicals can be lethal, and the pool floats and toys are a serious choking risk. Also, watch to make sure your pet doesn’t get pulled into the drainage apparatus or trapped behind any ladders on the side of the pool.

When it gets hot, stay cool by the pool, but keep an eye on your dog for safety’s sake.

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