Pool Safety for Dogs: The Top Seven Things You Should Know
Dogs. Everyone’s best friend. Their love is unconditional, they never criticize your decisions. Your dog is always happy to see you. That furry friend who is most loyal.
In turn, dogs who are loved have a rather good life. With their own retail shops, and parks, and even custom accommodations for daycare, they are rewarded with the best you can offer them. But do you need to draw the line when it comes to your pets splashing around in your backyard swimming pool? Can you be putting your beloved pal in danger?
As swimming pool financing experts, we have clients who tell us that they are getting a better workout in their pools than they did running or going to the gym. Their dogs are of course loving it too as it sets aside a great play time and helps to keep them in better condition as well.
Pet Pool Precautions
As you do for children using your pool, you take precautions like making sure your built-in pool is gated, and the ladder on your above ground pool is stowed when you are not around. Whether with traditional fencing or invisible ones, this investment is a must and should also be in compliance with your town or homeowner association’s rules.
We’ve put together a list of ideas that may make you feel more likely to take the plunge with your pet! Your first stop should be to check with your dog’s vet to ensure his or her breed is adaptable to a watery environment, and also that your dog is healthy enough to use the pool. Safety first.
- Swimming. The ability for all pups to do the “doggie paddle” and remain safely afloat is an urban legend. Not every breed is capable of efficiently getting from Point A to Point B. Consult with your vet as to your dog’s abilities and whether or not it is safe considering their individual health conditions. If you get the go ahead, you may still want to teach them to swim or hire a trainer so you both have a level of confidence.
- Drinking. Pool water is not something that dogs should ingest. The chemical balance must of course be optimal for many reasons, but also because consuming algae can be harmful. According to Dr. James Barr, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences for Modern Dog Magazine, “The typical chlorine pool could be quite irritating to the gastrointestinal tract and could cause some electrolyte issues if enough is drunk. Saltwater pools, although not as salty as seawater, can also cause electrolyte problems if enough is consumed.”
- Access. Like being fit for duty, dogs need to be able to safely get out of the pool. Unless you are right by their side as you would be with a young child, your dog must be trained how to exit the pool. Life vests for dogs are of course a great idea, but not if you place total reliance on them. You can secure your dog in one, but vests are safety nets, they are not the most vigilant measure you can take.
- Safety. The basics of CPR are essentials for children who are caretakers of their parents, parents who have young children, and even pet owners. It may not be a skill you ever considered cultivating, but it only takes a minute to run into the house for something to return and find your dog in distress. This nightmare will be one you will live over and over unless you are equipped to combat such a situation.
- Playtime. Dogs can be the same creatures of habit as their humans. Do your best to keep the pool toys separate from their “inside” toys. Maintain the distinction so they feel their pool environment is a different one.
- Care. A dog has the same sensitivities to products like chlorine as we do. A known irritant, dogs can have reactions and get rashes from exposure. An outdoor shower to rinse them off before and after leaving the pool will go a long way toward protecting them and keeping you from another expensive trip to the vet!
- Hydration. The heat of the spring and summer pool months can sneak up on you. In that heat, combined with activity, make certain your dog’s familiar water bowl is poolside; they need to stay just as hydrated in the heat as you do and to also have a shady spot to rest. If they drink enough water, they will be less likely to drink the pool water. Dogs, like children, need to be supervised.
Keeping Your Pool Clean with Pets
Whether you are planning on pool financing and new construction, or are already a pool-loving convert, there are considerations for keeping your pool clean enough for anyone who uses it.
- Unfortunately, dogs and their hair can introduce elements you’d rather not have in your pool. Plenty of things adhere to their coats and then get deposited in the pool water. Large capacity cartridge filters and a top-notch skimmer would be in order.
- Special care to testing the water should be done if your pets are using it as well; especially if you have more than one pool-loving pup! You should test your pool water more often if your dogs use the pool. Consult with your pool maintenance professional about the testing frequency and best products to keep your pet safe and your pool’s environment optimal.
- Many dogs have luxurious coats, but that same fur will gunk up your pool’s systems very quickly. A good “rule of paw” is to keep your pet’s hair shorter and brush it even more often to save your filtration system from overload and unanticipated repairs/replacement.
Pool Financing and Installation
As swimming pool financing experts, we believe backyard pools have many facets. Pools are:
- Relaxation Zones
- Workout Areas
- Party Places
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Family Gathering Spaces
- Extensions of Indoor Living
- Enhancements to Your Property
- Dog-friendly Spots
Pools add a new dimension for you and your family. If you already own one, you know.
We love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.