Virginia, DC & Maryland pool builders from Town & Country Pools offer pet pool safety tips
Sun and fun and swimming pools don’t have to be just the realm of the humans in your family! If you plan and prepare, your pets can enjoy the water with you — if they want to. A swimming pool as you know is about fun and sun but it is, most importantly about providing safety to those who use it. Swimming pools can also be a place you can spend time with your pet if you do it wisely.
Keep in mind that even though you may love the pool, your dog may not be as enthusiastic and he may not even be a good swimmer; not all dogs can swim or enjoy swimming. If your dog is drawn to the water, here are tips from the swimming pool contractors from Town & Country Pools on how you can help him or her enjoy it safely:
- Treat your dog as you would your child; never leave the dog in or around the swimming pool unattended.
- Always keep the safety fence locked when there isn’t an adult in attendance. This is likely required by law as well.
- Keep the toys away from the swimming pool. These could tempt your pet to jump in and try and retrieve them.
- Leaving more than one dog in the pool area unsupervised is a risk. Roughhousing dogs could fall into the pool.
- Understand dog first aid and pet CPR. Become familiar with reviving a dog that has drowned. Have vet and emergency vet numbers handy.
- Teach the dog to swim, and do it enough until the dog doesn’t panic in water. Swimming looks different than panic. If your dog simply doesn’t like the water, don’t force her to swim, let her enjoy the family time from the sideline.
- Have a visual target for the dog which is near the steps leading out of the water. Train your dog to notice it and get in and out using the steps or ramp.
- A dog that isn’t fit can’t swim any better than a human that isn’t in shape.
- Don’t overly exhaust the dog while swimming or they will go under.
- Preplan your pool construction with the idea that the dog needs sufficient footing to climb out of the pool. Small dogs, especially, can’t make it up and out using the big steps of most pools. You may want to consider a beach entrance or a dog specific removable ramp.
If you’re determined to spend time with your dog in the pool, take some precautions to make it happen and it can be another way to spend time together (and get your pet some exercise as well!). Talk with your pool contractor and let him know this is a possibility as he may have safety measures for you to implement and he can also offer suggestions on safety equipment such as dog life vests and more.