by Rob Cox , May 3, 2010
Swimming pools can be great exercise for dogs, or your pet turtle. But what pool safety measures should be put in place to protect animals from accidental drowning in pools? The focus of this article is how to keep your pet safe around water. This brings to mind the pet dog, and If you own a cat, this author assumes that keeping him or her out of the pool is easy, however noted that accidents do occur. Scared cats have been known to throw themselves into the pool, to escape the dog, for example.
We did an earlier post last year about Dog CPR. If you are a pet owner, this could be a skill worth having! But a better skill to have is teaching your pet the escape route, or how to get out of the pool.
Below is a short video of a dog falling into the pool, with natural dog curiosity. The person helping the dog is not really helping the dog at all. The correct training, would be to lightly grab the dogs collar, and guide them to the steps in the background. If your dog (or cat) doesn't mind being in the pool, train your dog to look for and swim to the steps or loveseat, assuming you have such in your pool.
You may have a dog that is very fearful of the pool water, and won't even come in with you for a swim on a hot summer day! If this dog has never been trained to swim to the steps, you may want to watch this video of showing how to gently introduce your dog to the pool and show them the exit steps or swimout area.
Now maybe you have a dog that loves being in the pool water, and you can't keep him out of the water! Good for keeping a clean dog, but now you have to clean the filter much more often. I had a customer in Great Falls, Va who maintained her pool specifically for her dogs. They all loved the water, and she would hold dog pool parties for her dog owner friends. And I had to clean up the pool, and pull clumps of dog hair out of the pump basket! At least the pool was being used, unlike so many other pools we took care of. Chances are, your dog is a bit timid of the pool, or has not had much experience with swimming at all.
If your pool does not have steps or a swimout / loveseat, you may be interested to know about the Skamper Ramp. All sorts of creatures can find their way into your pool while you are not watching. Most of these episodes happen while everyone is sleeping. You won't be having any "morning surprises" in your pool or skimmer basket with a Skamper Ramp. A new product this year for us are DoggyDocks, a larger ramp that can handle heavy dogs and lots of use. These may be more suitable to the boat dock or a lake dock, but can also work nicely on your pool. Either the Skamper Ramp or the DoggyDocks will give dogs, raccoons, squirrels, cats and even very small critters like field mice and chipmunks an exit ramp out of the pool.
For smaller critters like chipmunks, mice, frogs, you don't need the larger ramp. For the little guys, we have the FrogLog! The Froglog is a swimming pool escape ramp for frogs, toads, lizards, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, ducklings, turtles, bugs or insects, and other small animals up to one pound. Use several Frog Logs for large pools or ponds. The Froglog saves native wildlife, keeps swimming pool water clean, and reduces time spent on pool cleaning. Click for larger image of the FrogLog.
For dogs that spend a lot of time in the water, or for dogs that don't swim well, or for older dogs who may tire easily, the doggie life vest is here! Sold in sizes Sm, Med, Lg, XL, the Super Soft foam dog swim vest with adjustable buckles - keeps your dog safe in the water. We had one customer buy one for his poor old blind dog, who kept falling in the pool. Also great for the lake or for going boating with your dog safely.
Just attach the Turtle Wristband to your pet's collar and you can have peace of mind, knowing that you will be alerted the instant that your dog goes in the water by the 120db alarm placed nearby. Safety Turtle is great for dogs that cannot see the pool's edge or have little swimming ability. Safety Turtle is also used in pools without an easy point of egress for the dog. For complete information, visit our Safety Turtle Page.
When I was a young poolman, working on drain & clean crews, we would find animals occasionally. Usually a squirrel, sometimes a cat, sometimes unidentifiable. Lots of worms and bugs too, of course. These were wild animals, not pets, but nonetheless, I hate to see a swimming pool put an end to even a small bug's life. Small animals, if found in the pool, can bring all sorts of filth into the pool. We were draining the pool, acid washing and refilling, so no problem. If you do find a dead animal in the pool, use an appropriate device to remove the animal, then lower the pH and shock the pool to kill any microbes.
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