Pet Pool Safety

Holiday Vacation Planning
by Mark Garcia September 7, 2013

Keeping Dogs and Other Pets Safe around Swimming Pools

September is the time of year, this weekend in fact, where many public pools open up the pool to our 4 legged friends, with Doggy Swim Day. Lots of fun to watch, and even better if you've brought along a dog and a camera.

This got me thinking about some ideas for an article about pool pet safety. I'm speaking particularly about dogs, but these tips can also apply to our beloved cats, ferrets, hamsters... I suppose fish are exempt from these concerns - however, please don't put pet fish into your swimming pool! ;-)

Here's some ways to improve Pool Pet Safety or Dog Pool Safety.

Always Use the Buddy System

Just as children need supervision while swimming, your dog needs active adult supervision. They can tire easily, injure themselves or become disoriented, especially in new surroundings. Even if your dog has swam in your pool hundreds of times, accidents happen.

Secure the Swimming Pool

If your pool is fenced off from the rest of the backyard, this is the ideal situation. Many pools are within a 3-sided fence, with the fourth side being the house, and surrounded by the backyard.

dog on safety coverPool safety fence can be installed, or a permanent fence of glass, wood or aluminum could be erected on two sides of the pool, to keep your dog out of the pool area.

Pool safety covers, used during winter, or any time, will give complete peace of mind when installed. Some dogs will walk on the cover, and even lay on the cover

Not all dogs know how to swim

It's not a natural instinct as many people assume. Dogs or puppies should be introduced to swimming slowly and carefully, just as you would a young child. Most importantly, with every new swimming pool, dogs need to be shown where to enter and exit the pool safely.

To teach your dog to swim, coax them into the first step, then have them swim out to you on their own. Small dogs can be held in your arms. Have them swim from the step to you, and then back to the step. As they gain confidence, they will swim further. Stay in the pool, to help them find the exit steps or swim-out again.

Not all dogs want to swimdog on pool raft

Some breeds are natural to the water and will jump in every chance they get. Other dogs will avoid the water, and resist your efforts to introduce them to the pool. Never force your dog into the pool, but try another day. Some dogs will wade into the water, or lay on the top step, but that's about it. Other dogs will jump and dive, chase balls or noodle 'sticks', or leisurely lay on a pool raft.

Using a Doggy Swim Vest

dog safety swim vestPuppies learning to swim will find it helpful to wear a foam floatation vest, made specifically for dogs. For smaller dogs and puppies, the style with a handle on the back could be useful for you.

Older dogs can tire easily, and can also benefit from a doggy vest. Old and blind dogs - you can use a doggy vest whenever you let Rover out the back door to do his business.

Using a Pet Escape Ramp

skamper rampPools without swimouts or wedding cake style steps, can use a Skamper Ramp or Doggy Docks to provide a safe exit point for your pet. Dogs can't climb pool ladders, by the way.

These ramps attach to eye hooks that are drilled into the pool deck. They will also rescue critters of the woodland, and help almost any animal, large and small, escape from the pool

Using a Safety Turtlesafety-turtle

Safety Turtle is a device worn on the collar of your pet. When the device is submerged in water, it sets off a loud alarm in the house, or wherever the remote receiver is placed. Portable units can be taken on vacation, for pools, beach or lake.


Thanks for Reading!

Mark Garcia