Deciding to take the plunge and turn your backyard into a pool paradise can be…
Now that we’re officially in the dog days of summer (July 3 – August 11), the heat and humidity are on the rise. It’s a perfect time to take a swim for both you and your canine companion(s). But before letting your pooch into the pool, it’s a good idea to know that pool safety isn’t just for humans. Today, we’re going to go over pool safety for dogs, to help ensure a safe adventure for your fur baby.
Tip #1: Introduce Your Dog to the Pool Slowly
Don’t assume that all dogs are strong swimmers. Some dogs LOVE the water – especially retrievers and some spaniels. Smaller dogs may be afraid of the water, and even big dogs may be hesitant. Never force your dog into the pool. If your dog seems interested, proceed to tip #2.
Tip #2: Get a Dog Life Jacket
Ideally, before you introduce your dog to the pool, you invest in a dog life jacket. This will help give your dog some buoyancy and help keep its head above water. Look for one with a handle on the back so you can quickly lift them out of the water if needed.
Tip #3: Train Them How to Enter and Exit the Pool
If you’ve had your dog since he or she was a pup, you remember needing to train them to go up and down stairs. It’s time to do that again unless you have a beach entry pool. And if your inground pool doesn’t have stairs built-in, you will need to get a portable dog ramp or another way for your dog to easily get in and out of the pool. Dogs can drown if they tire and can’t find an easy way out of a pool.
Start with your dog with its paws in the water on the stairs, and praise him or her for their bravery. Work your way into the pool by you holding or supporting your dog under its stomach, being sure to keep its head above water.
They may start swimming on their own if you gradually let them go. Do a few short paddles, and then guide your dog back to the stairs, and exit with them. Use vocal commands, hand signals, and treats to reinforce the entry/exit behavior. Repeat until your dog is confident in its ability to enter and exit the pool.
Tip #4: Give Your Dog a Shower or Bath After Being in Chlorine
Chlorine and other pool chemicals can irritate a dog’s eyes, ears, and skin. Hose them down outside or give them a bath inside to get the chemicals out of their coat. Dry their ears as well.
Tip #5: Provide Clean Water Poolside
Some dogs will try to drink pool water. Train them not to do that. Provide clean water in a dog bowl and keep it in a shaded area poolside so your dog has a chance to go cool off and get a drink.
Tip #6: Never Leave Your Dog Unattended at the Pool
Just like you wouldn’t leave small children unattended in your pool, you don’t want to leave your dog in the pool area alone. This means keeping the fence and gates in good repair so your dog can’t squeeze through without you knowing. If your dog is a jumper and loves the pool, you may also need a nigher pool fence.
If you have kids, you probably already have some sort of alarm system to tell you when someone (or something) is in the pool area. Pay attention to these alerts for the safety of people and pets.
Related Reading: Pool Safety Tips: A Refresher for the Family
Have Fun with Your Pooch in the Pool
Lastly, have fun with your pooch in the pool. If your dog loves to swim, just know that you will need to check the skimmer and pool filter more often. If your dog has long hair, you may want to brush them thoroughly BEFORE they go for a doggy paddle.
Make It Exceptional. Make It Woodfield.
If you don’t yet have an inground pool yourself, it’s always good to brush up on the pool safety rules for dogs for when you do or when you go to a pool where pets are allowed. And if you’re looking into installing an inground pool in your backyard, be sure to hire a pool builder who can give you the exceptional experience you deserve. That’s what we deliver.
We provide custom pool design and installation services for homeowners throughout the Baltimore area, including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County, and Howard County. Schedule a call today.