When the weather starts warming up and you and your family begin spending time poolside, don’t forget about the safety of your pets. Whether you are enjoying the pool in your own back yard, or at a neighbor or friend’s home, taking safety precautions could save your four-legged friend’s life.
Pet Water Safety
Be aware of your furry family member’s swimming abilities. No matter what breed, their abilities can be diminished after extensive play or with advanced age. Just as you would never leave your children unsupervised near the pool, don’t leave your pets unsupervised either. Even if they are excellent swimmers they can accidentally slip and fall into the water. Keep the following guidelines in mind before you allow your pets to enjoy your pool with the rest of your family.
- Teach your pet to get out of the pool. Make sure they know how to find the steps to exit easily if they accidentally fall in or get tired of playing. Consider investing in a well-fitting life vest or a pet ramp designed to provide an easy exit. While nothing can replace direct supervision, a pool alarm will notify you if anything over a specific weight enters the pool, and there are collars available that will sound if submerged. Take a pet CPR class to prepare in case of an accidental fall into the pool.
- Make sure that any covers used during the off season are securely fastened with no slack. A pet that runs across a loose cover risks being sucked down into the pool if the cover fails.
- Keep toys out of the pool area when you are not actively playing with your pet. Toys left in the pool, whether pet toys or children’s toys, can be tempting for four-legged family members. Remove all toys from the pool when you’re done playing.
- Turn off the pool pump and pool sweep when your pet is in the pool. They can cause currents and confusion for a swimming pet if they get tangled up in the hoses.
- Keep all pool supplies safely stored and out of reach. For some pets, floating chlorine dispensers can appear to be toys, but they are toxic to many animals. If you spill any pool supplies, clean them up promptly and rinse walkways clean. Pets tend to lick their paws when they’ve stepped in substances, and licking pool supplies and chemical water purifiers can make them sick.
- Provide clean, fresh water before and after playing in the pool, and discourage drinking pool water. Many pool supplies designed to keep water clean can wreak havoc on sensitive stomachs. If you wouldn’t drink your pool water, don’t let your pets drink it either!
By taking the precautions above, you can greatly increase your furry family member’s safety and health when the warmer summer months beckon for poolside fun.