Backyard swimming pools are a constant source of fun, laughter and amusement for the whole family, including your dog.
Many dogs are attracted to swimming pools; especially those who love to retrieve interesting, buoyant objects from the water. So what can you do to make sure your dog stays safe? Supervise! Nothing replaces the safety of full adult supervision.
In addition, here are some items you can incorporate into your pool environment to keep your dog and your pool even safer:
Teach your dog how to safely exit the pool.
Expose your pet to the swimming pool so that they know where the steps are. Once the dog has entered the pool, have all family members inside and outside the pool move towards the shallow end to show where the exit is. Repeat this several times until your dog has mastered the exit. An untrained dog is more likely to go to the nearest edge and try to claw their way out. Their state of panic can quickly lead to exhaustion, which is why an introduction to a shallow area or exit point is always a good idea.
Invest in solid pool covers.
Pool covers that are not solid can give dogs a false sense of security. The bubble-type pool covers can be especially dangerous. A dog may think it is solid and then become trapped in the cover. As they thrash about, it pulls the cover into the pool, and makes escape difficult. Do not leave pool toys or floating devices in the pool as this may tempt your pet to jump in and play when no one is around.
Properly maintain your pool to avoid damage from dog hair
Although a dog’s hair and dander is hard on a filter system, it is not known to cause serious damage if properly maintained. More damaging then hair, is the oil found in dog’s hair. The oil can clog the filter. The best way to treat it is by using natural enzymes that will eat up the oils in your pool.
An occasional drink of water from a well-maintained pool is not harmful to most dogs.
When it comes to chemicals, just like with humans everything is in moderation. There is no definite warning out there specifically for dogs, but if you wouldn’t swim in your pool, I wouldn’t let your animals. Most pool water is filtered better than your tap water, so it is not generally dangerous for dogs to drink pool water.
Treat your dogs in the pool as you would your children, and you should have a safe and enjoyable swim.