There are no confirmed statistics on how many animals drown in swimming pools each year, but estimates place that number at nearly 5,000. That’s why pet parents with pools need to take a few extra precautions to keep their furriest family members safe.
No matter how avid a swimmer or how safe you think your dog is around the pool, accidents can happen. Taking the correct precautions will minimize these risks and ensure a safe and fun environment for the entire family, both two- and four-legged!
In many regions, pool fencing is legally required if you have a child under the age of five years old in the home. Even if it’s not legally required, it’s a good idea if you have dogs or wildlife regularly visiting your backyard. Keep pool access locked down by installing a secure fence around it.
Pool Safety Covers
If your pet routinely has access to the pool or can easily jump or climb over a pool fence, choosing the right pool cover could be a lifesaver. Standard pool covers that simply float on the pool’s surface are incredibly dangerous for pets as they give a false sense of security. Pets believe they can walk across the surface and can quickly sink and become tangled in the cover, unable to get out. Look, instead, for a pool safety cover designed to prevent pets from entering the pool. These covers are made of much more durable material than standard pool covers and are kept in place by heavy duty straps along the pool’s edge. Look for a pool safety cover that can withstand your dog’s weight.
Personal Flotation Device
A personal flotation device, otherwise known as a life jacket or vest, is an absolute must-have if you plan on being on a boat or in any body of water with your dog, but even in your backyard pool, these vests can save a life. Look for a life jacket that is specifically designed for dogs and make sure it’s sized and fitted properly to keep your furriest family member afloat and upright.
One of the very first things pet parents with pools should teach their dogs to do is to exit the pool. Unless you have a very shallow or walk-in entry pool, it’s unlikely that your dog will be able to reach the bottom, even in the shallow end. This makes an easy exit essential. In addition to training your dog to exit the pool, install a pool ramp or floating stairs at the opposite end of the pool. These floating ladders provide something for your pet to grab onto should they fall into the pool or become fatigued while swimming.
If you have a pool, a pool alarm is one of the most valuable safety tools available. These electronic monitoring systems feature a sensor that detects movement in the pool and automatically sounds an alarm, both on the device and inside the home, should your pet fall into the water. They are simple to install and important to use at all times to monitor your pool.
With these safety precautions in place, playing in the pool with your dog can be a blast for you both!