Do you have a pool? It’s great to have a private swimming spot where you can relax and soak up some sun, or just cool off on a hot day. Many of our canine patients absolutely love swimming. However, not all pups are cut out for water. Pools can be very dangerous for dogs, especially for those that don’t swim well. A local Greater Cincinnati vet discusses pool safety for dogs in this article.
Generally, you would want to use the same safety precautions for Fido as you would for a toddler. Never leave him near the water unattended, supervise him carefully when at the pool, and keep it blocked off when no one is using it. It’s also important to make sure your furry friend knows where the pool stairs are, so he can get out if he falls in. We’d recommend getting a dog ramp or doggy stairs, especially if your pool doesn’t have steps. A dog-safe pool cover is also a good option. Covers can be quite dangerous, as many pups step on them without realizing that they are not solid surfaces. Needless to say, Fido would be in big trouble if he stepped on a plastic liner that couldn’t hold his weight!
Once Fido is done swimming, it’s a good idea to rinse him off, to get the chlorine out of his fur. Once he’s dry, brush him to remove any dead fur. Actually, it’s a good idea to brush your canine pal before his swim session as well, especially if he’s a heavy shedder. Dog fur is not going to do your pool filter any good!
This is one thing you’ll want to take some time with. Have Fido follow you into the pool and then back out. If he swims well, you can playFetch with him in the water, so he comes back to you. Or, gently guide him to the stairs. Once you think he’s got it down, test him out. Go to the opposite side of the pool from the stairs and call him. Keep working with your pooch until you’re sure he has it down. You can also put a landmark, like a potted plant, near the steps.
As your Greater Cincinnati pet hospital, we’re here to help! Please feel free to contact us anytime!