May is National Water Safety Month, do your dogs know how to swim?
It’s estimated that thousands of pets drown in the family’s backyard swimming pool each year, though real numbers are unknown because most incidents go unreported.
The idea that so many pets die each year when if precautions were taking, their deaths could have easily been prevented is heart-wrenching.
For those of you who have dogs who love the water, or dogs who like to explore but aren’t very well versed in or near the water, here are a few simple adjustments that can prevent a disaster from happening.
Teach Them To Swim
From the moment you bring home your dogs, get them acquainted with the pool.
Don’t assume they can swim and don’t throw them into the water thinking that will scare them away from going near the pool. That’s not only cruel but could be harmful in the long run when trying to teach your pets how to safely exit the pool if they’ve fallen in.
Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs know how to swim or are efficient swimmers. This common misconception could cause your dog its life.
Certain breeds like brachycephalic dogs (Pugs, English Bull Dogs, French Bull Dogs, etc.), are notoriously bad swimmers. Therefore, its imperative that you teach them how to swim.
Teach Them To Use The Steps or Stairs
Even if your dogs hate the pool and you believe they would never get into it, it’s important to teach them where the steps or stairs are just in case they were to fall in by mistake.
If a dog knows how to exit the pool, their stress level won’t be as high as a dog who immediately starts to panic because they have not idea how to get out.
Teaching your dogs how to exit the pool can also prevent them from swimming to the deep end or the side of the pool and frantically paw at the edge causing injury to their paws or upper body when trying to pull themselves out.
Use Life Vests
If your dogs love the water but aren’t the best swimmings, get them a life vest like the Kyjen Outward Hound Pupsaver. They can still have fun in the water, but with a little support and a lot of safety. Life vest protects dogs like they do humans.
Your pets may not like the feeling of it being on them in the beginning, but once they become used to it, it will allow them the freedom to doggie paddle without any fear.
Install A Fence Around Your Pool
Like children, dogs love to run around the pool. Without a fence, what happens if one falls in and can’t swim? Installing a fence around the pool to some isn’t aesthetically pleasing, BUT it will save a life.
Pool fences like, Pool Fence DIY by Life Saver Self-Closing Gate Kit, are easy to put up and take down and are the perfect protection for those pet owners who don’t want their dogs in the pool at all, but fear they need a barrier for them so they don’t accidentally fall in.
Install A Safety Ladder
Another idea is to consider installing a pet safe ladder such as Paws Aboard Pool Pup Steps so your pets can exit easily and safely enter the pool.
These steps also prevent your dogs from slipping and injuring themselves if they like to jump into the pool from the side.
Easily installed, ladders are placed in the deep end of the pool allows for two exits (one at either side of the pool) for your dogs to get out fast when they need too.
Never Leave Your Dogs Alone By The Pool
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of dogs who are left unsupervised outside by their family swimming pool. Worse are the dogs who take an afternoon dip when they are left outside and their owners aren’t even home.
Pets should not be allowed around the pool without supervision – ever. This could lead to an accident in no time. Even for the experienced swimmer, you never know what could happen if left alone swimming.
To keep your pets safe, consider making these easy adjustments at home. Swimming in the pool should be a fun experience for all involved, keeping safety always in mind.
Founded by Nicole Brown Packin in 2007, Miami Pet Concierge offers an unmatched suite of professional and quality in-home pet care services. Designed to eliminate any stress and worry of Miami’s busy pet owners, our mission is to keep our client’s pets happy at home because we care when you can’t be there!