by Mike Barton
Here are some great tips about how to keep your pet safe around pools:
There are many myths out there about pool safety with pets. First of all, many people think all dogs can swim. This just isn’t true. Some breeds as well as older semi-disabled pets may have difficulties staying afloat. Other breeds have problems swimming in general.
Rule 1: See if you pet can swim under supervision.
Another myth is that children are the ones that need to be supervised around water and that dogs have an innate ability to keep them safe. This is false! Many pets do not have the skills to survive in water.
Rule 2: Always supervise your pet around water.
Another misconception is that people without a pool don’t have to worry about water safety. This is also false. Dogs can escape to others’ yards, rivers, ponds, and even hot tubs.
Rule 3: Make sure that if your pet is near water that you supervise them.
How to Avoid Pet Drowning
- Keep the pool area secure. Just because there is a child gate does not mean small dogs cannot circumvent their defenses. Be sure to test the child gate for its ability to keep your pet out.
- Teach your pet that the pool surface is NOT solid by putting them into the pool while being held. If your dog swims in the pool, be sure to be in the pool and teach them the best area for exit (i.e. the steps).
- Dogs cannot see well through water so understand that if there are steps, the only way he or she will know there are steps is by repetitive guiding.
- Freezing cold pools are more dangerous than in the summer time. This might not be a problem in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I work, but your should be sure to keep your pets away from water even if they can swim when it is winter because the temperature can be enough to overwhelm their swimming abilities. Even if they can exit, they can enter hypothermia if not attended to.
- Purchase dog-protecting pool gear. These include ramps, collars, pool alarms, and life jackets for dogs.
- When boating, always be sure that your dog has on his or her life jacket. Take into consideration the tide and current before letting your dog swim.
- And remember… NEVER leave your dog unattended near open water.
Mike Barton is the owner of Blue Aces Pool Service. Blue Aces is the premier St. Petersburg, FL Pool Service company. Mike is a dog-lover and his business is dog-friendly.