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Pool Safety For Pups
May 15, 2023

Summer is on the way! Do you have a pool at home? If so, you’ll need to take some steps to keep your canine companion safe. Pools can be very dangerous for dogs! A Potomac, MD vet goes over some doggy pool safety tips below.

Safety Protocols

In general, you should use the same rules of thumb that you would for a toddler, with the first and most important being supervision. Never leave Fido alone near the water! Even pups that swim well can panic or injure themselves if they slip or fall in. Use a fence or gate to block off the pool entrance when it’s not in use. It’s worth noting that covering the pool may not be a good option, particularly with in-ground pools. Your furry pal may not realize that it’s a solid surface, and could try to walk on it. Needless to say, that could be very dangerous,

This Way Out

One of the most important things you can do is make sure Fido knows where the pool exit is. He could be in serious trouble if he were to fall in and not be able to get back out again! Take some time with this training, and make sure it’s really sinking in. Test your canine pal a bit by calling him from the opposite side of the pool as where the stairs are. It may also help to put some sort of visual marker near the stairs. That could be a life preserver, potted tree, or your daughter’s inflatable unicorn.

Swim Lessons

Swimming isn’t really going to be right for all dogs. Pups that are very small or very large usually aren’t well-suited for the water. Others, such as the Golden Retriever, absolutely love to swim and play. If you aren’t sure if swimming is a good fit for Fido, ask your vet. If you get the thumbs-up, take time to teach him properly. Ask your vet for tips on this.

Paw Care

Don’t forget about Fido’s feet! Dogs’ paws get very delicate when wet, just as our skin does. Your pooch could get painful burns and blisters by running and playing on hard surfaces after swimming. Keep your canine buddy on soft grass when he gets out of the water.

Our Advice on Pool Safety For Pups

What are the essential pool safety protocols to follow for pups?

For pool safety with pups, always supervise them near water. Teach them where the exit is and use a fence or gate to block pool access when unsupervised. Avoid pool covers that may seem solid to a dog. Check their paws for sensitivity post-swim, and ensure they’re comfortable and safe in the water.

How can you prevent your pup from accessing the pool unsupervised?

Install a sturdy fence or gate around the pool area to prevent unsupervised pool access. Consider pool alarms or covers that support a dog’s weight for extra safety. Train your pup to understand pool boundaries and never to approach the water without your permission or presence.

How can you train your pup to find the pool exit?

To train your pup to find the pool exit, repeatedly start with leash guidance to the steps or ramp until they’re familiar. Use treats and positive reinforcement when they reach the exit. Practice this from different points in the pool to ensure they can exit from anywhere. Regular patient training is critical.

Are all pups suited for swimming, and how can you tell?

Not all pups are suited for swimming. Breeds with short snouts, heavy bodies, or short legs often struggle. Observe your dog’s comfort and ability in shallow water first. If they’re hesitant or sink quickly, swimming may be better. Consult your vet for breed-specific advice and swimming safety.

What steps should you take to introduce your pup to swimming safely?

Introduce your pup to swimming safely by starting in shallow water, using positive reinforcement, and providing floatation support if needed. Gradual, positive experiences help build confidence.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Gaithersburg, MD pet hospital, today!