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Dog Pool Safety 101

With summer around the corner, I thought this would be a useful reminder. Although your children may be competent swimmers, do not assume that your pets are. Preventing pool accidents for your pets takes adequate planning and careful supervision.

 Contrary to popular belief...

Not all dogs are efficient swimmers. This common misconception can be life threatening to your pet. Dogs that are considered to be brachycephalic, such as English bulldogs, American bulldogs, and French bulldogs, are notoriously bad swimmers. Therefore, it is smart to teach these dogs how to swim and exit the pool safely to prevent drowning. Limiting their access to the pool is an easy and effective way to prevent accidental fall-ins. A good pool fence with child proof locks is a good idea for children and pets.

 Is drinking pool water bad for Fido?

Another popular concern among pet owners is whether it is safe for Fido or Fluffy to drink pool water. Veterinarians are clear on this in that it is typically not safe although there are some pool waters that are worse than others for drinking. It is also important that your pool’s chemical balance is correct, as algae can be disruptive to pets’ health.

The typical chlorine pool could be quite irritating to the gastrointestinal tract and even toxic if enough is drunk. While saltwater pools are not nearly as bad in this regard, they still could cause some electrolyte issues if enough is ingested.

Should all dogs swim even if supervised?

Though your pooch may be eager to splash into the pool on a hot summer day, there should be set limitations for dogs of a certain ages or medical conditions. You should always consult with your veterinarian before allowing your dog to swim.

While there are many effective ways to ensure your pet’s safety when near a pool, the most important precautionary measure is adequate supervision. Just like with children, leaving them unattended around a pool can lead to unnecessary injury. This, along with teaching Fido how to swim and correctly exit the water, can keep the pool area a fun and safe environment.


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