Going Above and Beyond for Pet Pool Safety

A black labrador retriever in the poolThe heat index makes it harder for your pet to cool down (thanks, humidity). While certain animals are considered high-risk for heat stroke (young, senior, overweight, ill, or brachycephalic breeds), all pets need an opportunity to cool down during the summer months.

Drowning and near-drowning episodes are more common than you may think. As a result, we want to provide the best in pet pool safety so you and your companion can chillax until the leaves start turning.

Tried and True

Shade trees, fans, and air conditioners go a long way to increasing comfort, but perhaps the most effective method is water. Kiddie pools and sprinklers are great, and there’s no beating an inviting backyard pool.

Hit the Brakes

Before you suit up, consider the following:

  • Confirm your pet’s swimming ability. Many animals can “doggie paddle,” but assuming your pet can swim could be a disaster.
  • Train your pet to ensure he or she listens and follows through with your commands. This will result in successful pet pool safety tactics.
  • If there are stairs, teach your pet how to enter and exit the pool. If not, train your pet to look for a landmark (like a chair or potted plant) to safely leave the water.
  • Procure a personal floatation device, or lifejacket, for your pet. Don’t allow him or her in the water without it.

Start Slow

One of the best ways to teach your pet to swim involves a slow start with a kiddie pool. Over the course of numerous days, increase the level of water in the pool until it’s full. Have your pet retrieve some toys and demonstrate that he or she can obey your commands. Offer healthy snacks throughout the process.

When you move to a larger, deeper pool, introduce stairs and other essential tools for pet pool safety. Enter the water with your pet and provide reassurance. Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet!

Pet Pool Safety Measures

Many backyard and community pools are enclosed behind a fence with a security gate, and limiting your pet’s access is a top priority in pet pool safety. He or she should never be allowed close to the edge while on a simple potty break.

Installing an alarm can also help notify you if your pet accidentally falls into a pool, hot tub, or other area with water.  

A Buoyant Summer

Our veterinarians and staff are always happy to assist you. Please contact us with any questions about pet pool safety or other seasonal concerns. Remember:

  • Thoroughly rinse and dry your pet’s coat, skin, and ears after swimming
  • Offer your pet extra water; dehydration can occur very quickly
  • Have fun and enjoy the special moments together!

From all of us at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital, we wish you and your pet a safe and happy summer!

posted in:  Pet Safety