dog swimming

How To Prevent Your Dog From Drowning in Your Pool

A pool is a great investment for your entire family. A swimming pool lets you and your kids have fun and exercise from the comfort of your backyard.

Before you hit the internet to search "pool builders near me," you must make sure everyone in your house knows basic water safety. This includes your dog. After all, he could drown if he falls into the pool. Dogs with poor vision or medical conditions such as dementia and arthritis are at particular risk for drowning. Here are some ways to make sure your pup is safe around your pool.

  1. Teach Your Dog To Swim

Not every dog is a natural swimmer. While most dogs can do a basic doggie paddle, your pet may be inexperienced in the water. Dogs also might panic and forget how to swim properly when they fall into pool.

Professional trainers will know the best ways to get your dog comfortable in the pool. If you decide to train your pet yourself, get in the water with him to show him what to do.  

Just teaching your dog to swim is not enough. Even a strong swimmer may drown in the deep end, especially if your pet does not know how to get out of the pool. As part of your dog's pool training, make sure he knows the location of the pool steps. You can even put a light or plant near the steps so your dog will easily remember where they are. This way, if your dog does fall into the water, he can find his way back to safety.

There are also separate pool stairs and ramps designed especially for pets. If you decide to buy one of these items, check online reviews to be sure the product is safe. You should also make sure your dog knows how to use the steps or ramp.

  1. Secure the Pool Area

The best way to prevent your dog from drowning is to stop him from falling into the water in the first place. This means investing in a fence that surrounds the pool. This should both protect your dog and keep out wild animals or neighborhood pets. The fence should be sturdy enough that your dog cannot break it or dig under it. It must also be tall so your dog cannot jump over it. Be sure to check the fence frequently for holes and repair any gaps immediately.

Of course, the fence only works if it remains closed. Put up a sign reminding everyone in your house to shut the gate.  

You may have also seen pool blankets and covers that float on top of the water. However, these can be dangerous for dogs. Dogs may think it is safe to walk on them, and they may try to use the pool as a shortcut when chasing a squirrel in the yard. They could then get trapped in the cover or fall beneath it and into the water. If you do purchase one of these covers, make sure it is strong and sturdy.

  1. Supervise

If your dog does enjoy swimming, feel free to let him in the pool for a dip. However, you must keep your eyes on your pet at all times. Before you head out for some water fun, you should also put a doggie life vest on him. You can easily find these vests at your local pet store.

A life vest is not a substitute for supervision, however. Even when your dog is wearing his life vest, you still need to remain outside with him.

If your dog does get into distress in the pool, he could drown before first responders arrive. You should thus take a canine CPR class. This class should teach you how to resuscitate your dog during an emergency.

Do not let your new pool cause a tragedy in your family. By following the above suggestions, you can keep your pet safe around and in the water.