There’s nothing like a dip in the swimming pool on a hot summer day, and your dog might agree. It’s important to keep your family safe when you open the pool for the summer, and this includes your dog.
Keep on reading our Colorado Springs, CO, animal hospital‘s article to discover dog pool safety tips to follow.
So, can a dog swim? The answer is, kind of. Dogs are born with the natural instinct to swim in the water, but it is a simple doggy paddle. There are dog breeds that were bred by breeders and farmers, though, to swim in cold waters and fetch ducks and other large birds.
Poodles, for example, don’t look like dogs with a hidden talent of swimming, but they are excellent swimmers because of their history. Before these dogs became a fashion icon and spread throughout Europe, they worked with their owners to quickly swim through water to fetch hunted birds.
Dogs can swim, but they should still be watched. Just like humans and other non-aquatic mammals, dogs get tired if they are left in the water for too long. Once a muscle cramps or they lose strength in their legs, this can have dire consequences.
Dog Pool Safety Tips
Purchase a fence to wrap around your pool. This is a great way to keep out silly and curious dogs that want to take a dip without your supervision. The gate should be tall and high enough to ensure that no dogs get into the pool.
The fence should be high enough that your dog cannot jump through it. The material should also be heavy and sturdy, and bound to the ground, so the fence does not accidentally fall if a dog were to push against it.
While the water is refreshing, especially on a hot summer day, it can also cause shock, heat stroke, and other health problems. If your dog overheats, it can be tempting to want them to immediately cool in icy water, but this can actually cause their bodies to go into shock.
Even in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not let your dog bathe in pool water and swim without supervision. They can still overheat directly under the sun. Instead, provide them with shade, water, and air conditioning if you believe they are experiencing too much heat.
Pool water is also not the cleanest. Sure, pools use chlorine to get rid of harmful bacteria, but drinking pool water and chlorine is not recommended. This can cause your dog to dehydrate because of the harsh chemicals.
While chlorine water does not taste good, curious puppies that are quenching their thirst, will still immediately turn to drinking the water from the pool.
From the first puppy stages, keeping your dog safe around the pool can be just as easy as training them to stay away from the water. If you want them to swim, you can also teach them how to jump in and where to get out of the pool so they do not feel lost when it is time to leave.
If nothing else works and your adorable puppy is still running wildly into the water, why not invest in a dog life jacket? They are lightweight, affordable, and perfect for adult dogs. If your dog is still a puppy, be sure to purchase new sizes every three to four months as they grow. Dog life jackets will not keep them out of danger completely but will help them float above the water.
Don’t Leave Your Dog Unattended
The most important dog safety tip is to not leave your dog unattended in the water. Sure, they can swim naturally, but anything can happen! Most causes of drowning don’t happen because the person or the animal does not know how to swim, but because they panic and thrash around in the water.
Let Our Colorado Springs, CO, Vets Know If You Have Additional Questions About Dog Pool Safety
Overall, dog pool safety is extremely important, especially if you are taking them to a pool or you own a pool. Under no circumstances should your dog be left alone and without supervision in a pool, even with dog safety equipment like a life jacket.
If you have more questions about pool safety for your dog, be sure to ask our Colorado Springs, CO, veterinarians during your next visit at our animal hospital. To schedule your dog’s next exam, give us a call at (719) 475-1314.