When the temperature starts to soar and days are often filled with glorious sunshine, nothing makes beating the heat more fun than having a plunge at the pool. For kids and adults alike, it is one of the best ways to enjoy the summer. However, it can also be a significant risk, not only for humans but even for pets. That said, it is important to pay attention to dog pool safety.
While there is no exact statistical data about the number of pets that drown in the pool, it is safe to say there is a risk of drowning, making pool safety a critical consideration. Take note, not all dogs are efficient swimmers. When left unsupervised, they can drown. To have peace of mind, read on and learn from the tips we will share about pet pool safety, especially for dogs.
Should I Let My Dog in My Pool?
Yes! If it is safe enough for humans, it is most probably safe even for pets! There are some dogs that are naturally good swimmers, including a standard poodle, Newfoundland, Chesapeake Bay retriever, English setter, Irish water spaniel, Labrador retriever, and golden retriever.
Not all dogs can swim. Some of them suck in the water, and hence, there is a high risk of drowning. This is especially the case in the brachycephalic dogs or those with short nose and flat faces, such as pugs, bulldogs, and boxers. If you own one of these pets, you have to be extra careful to keep them safe and sound.
Teach Your Dog How to Swim
Patience is a virtue – even when it comes to dogs. If it isn’t a natural swimmer, take the time to train your pet. If the task is a challenge for you, no need to worry as you can always ask help from a professional dog trainer. It may come at a cost, but with the knowledge and experience of the trainer, it is one of the best ways to ensure dog pool safety.
Like a kid getting in the pool for the first time, you should go slow. Start in a shallow area. The bathtub or a kiddie pool is a good place to kickstart the swimming session. Teach the dog the basics of paddling while holding it at the mid-section and hindquarters. See to it that the dog is wearing a flotation device at this point. Provide treats to encourage the dog to learn the tricks you are teaching.
Buy a Life Vest
According to the American Kennel Club, a personal flotation device is a must-have when training dogs how to swim. Choose a dog life jacket that comes with a D-ring for the leash attachment. It should be appropriate for the breed, size, and weight of the dog that you have. The fit should be comfortable. Otherwise, the dog will demonstrate resistance, making it harder to teach how to swim. A sturdy handle is also necessary, making it easy to pick the dog out of the water.
Learn the Basics of Dog CPR
CPR saves lives, not just for humans but even for dogs. You should be well-prepared to provide immediate attention to your pet in case of drowning. To resuscitate a dog and save it from drowning, follow these simple steps:
- Start by lifting the dog off the water. Hold it down for about 20 seconds, which will allow water to drain from the lungs.
- If the dog is not breathing or the heart isn’t beating, you need to execute artificial respiration. Hold the mouth and the lips, making sure that the airway has no obstructions. While the mouth is closed, gently blow over the nose. If you are rescuing a large dog, blow harder.
- Provide up to 20 breaths in a minute. On average, breathe once for every 30 seconds.
- Watch the lungs for signs of expansion. Wait until the dog is breathing on its own.
- For your peace of mind, bring the dog to a vet to be checked after performing a CPR.
Install a Fence
When it comes to dog pool safety, prevention is better than cure. A dog-proof pool fence is a must have, especially if you often leave dogs playing on their own around the pool area. Install a fence that is durable enough, so that the dog won’t be able to easily knock it down.
A barrier to keep the dog out, including a pool cover, is critical not only for its safety but also for humans. Covering the pool will prevent dirty dogs from getting into the pool and contaminating the water. Urine and feces can pollute the pool, so make sure they are not allowed to enter without supervision.
Teach the Dog How to Exit the Pool
Correct exit from the water is another essential when it comes to pet pool safety. If the dog does not know how to exit the water correctly, it will just stay in the pool. This can be dangerous as it may end up being exhausted after tirelessly paddling in the water without knowing its way out.
The dog should learn to exit from the different points of the pool. During the training, guide it to the nearest exit and do this several times, which will make it a routine for them. This will help to eliminate panic in case they accidentally fall in the pool.
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In sum, dog pool safety is an important concern for pool owners. You should be responsible enough to make sure that the pool is not only fun but also a safe place for your pets. Take the time to teach them how to swim or hire someone to do it. Invest in a dog life jacket. A pool fence, or even a solar pool cover will also be great to keep the dog away from the water. Learn how to perform basic CPR. Lastly, see to it that the dog knows its safe way out of the water.
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