Pratice Pool Safety With Your Dog

Keep your dog safe around the pool!

Even the most water savvy dogs may need some help learning the ins and outs of the pool.  You want to start teaching your pup that the pool is not scary, in fact it is a lot of fun!Dog in Life Vest for pool safety

Start Slow

  • Take your time and encourage your pup to stand on the first step with you.
  • Toys and treats are a huge bonus for our pups if our happy voice is not convincing enough.
  • Start out with a small kiddie pool for a more gradual approach to pool play.
  • Doggie lifejackets can give Fido a boost in confidence, but make sure it fits well or it will be more of a deterrent.
  • Engage with your dogs and make sure there is always supervision.

Help them out

One of the most important things you can teach your pup is how to get out of the pool. While this may seem natural to us, Fido will need to be shown.

  • A good start is a visual marker where the pool stairs are. Pick one spot for the dog to enter and exit. This will reinforce the spot and prevent your pup from jumping into the pool and landing on unsuspecting swimmers. If Fido has taken up dock diving on his own accord, you may want to give him a toy filled with food and leave him inside while everyone is in the pool.
  • Practice calling him to the stairs and associate the exit with lots of treats and praise.
  • Have a plan for getting him out when needed – a long leash can work wonders so Fido does not try to climb on top of the nearest person he can find in the pool.

Protect Them

Keep these items in mind when spending quality pool time with your pup.

  • Remember it can get warm quickly and even though they are cooling down in the pool you want to make sure they don’t over exert themselves in the heat and that they have access to shade when needed.
  • Rinse off all that chlorinated water after they are done, then dry off. Leaving that water behind can irritate areas like ears and behind collars.
  • Keep pool chemicals and toys locked away so Fido is safe from making them into toys. If your dog does get into chemicals call a veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control (1-888426-4435) immediately.
  • Make sure the pool is not a primary source of drinking water; try putting a bowl with fresh water out near the pool for them to have instead.
  • Pool covers can be very dangerous also. Dogs are not always thinking before they run across a surface, whether they were just strolling in the afternoon or chasing a small critter.
  • Some dogs needs sunblock too! In addition to providing shade, protecting their skin with sunblock is always a good idea – especially noses and light-colored dogs with thin fur.
  • Keep an eye on their feet as patios can become very hot. Test surfaces before going out to make sure their feet will not burn. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, it’s too hot for your dog.

The DO NOTs

  • Do NOT throw your dog into the pool. Pools should always be a fun place and throwing sends the wrong message. Swimming can be a great source of exercise during the hot summer months.
  • Do NOT try to get your dog to figure out where the steps or exit is on their own. They may become frantic which leads to unpleasant memories in the pool or worse.
  • DO NOT assume your dog knows how to swim. Go slow and help them practice.
  • DO NOT leave them in the pool alone. Time in the pool should always be supervised.