Summer is on the way! As the weather heats up, many of us will be spending more time in pools. Many of our canine patients also enjoy swimming. Pools can be very dangerous for Man’s Best Friend, so you’ll want to take some precautions to keep your pet safe. A local Sarasota, FL vet discusses pool safety for dogs below.
If your dog doesn’t know how to swim, we recommend teaching him, for safety reasons. However, don’t just throw Fido into the water. That may traumatize your furry friend, and could leave him with a fear of water. Support his weight as he is learning, and encourage him with praise. (Treats and belly rubs can come later, once you’re out of the pool.)
Dogs paws are very sensitive when they’re wet, just like our skin is after a bath. Fido could get painful blisters from running on harsh surfaces, like a pool deck, right after going swimming. Keep your pooch on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his paws.
This Way Out
Make sure that Fido knows where the stairs are. We can’t overstate the importance of this! If your pup ever falls in when no one is looking, he could be in serious trouble if he doesn’t know how to get out. Take some time with this training, and make sure it really sinks in. You may want to put a visible marker near the steps, like a life preserver or potted tree.
If you have an above-ground pool, we recommend getting doggy steps. These will be easier for Fido to manage than a simple ladder.
Make sure that Fido always has fresh water available nearby. Otherwise, he may drink the pool water. Needless to say, this isn’t very good for him.
In general, use the same pool safety precautions for dogs as you would with children. First and foremost: never leave Fido unattended. We also recommend gating or fencing the pool when it isn’t in use.
Once Fido is done swimming, rinse him off to get the chlorine out of his fur. If your pet is prone to ear issues, you may also need to clean his ears. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Please contact us, your Sarasota, FL vet clinic, for all your pup’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!