Today, I would like to welcome guest blogger Kaitlin Gardner. Kaitlin is owner and creator of An Apple Per Day, where she discusses healthy and green living.
We all know a healthy life includes a life with pets, so today she is here to discuss her tips regarding swimming pool safety for pets. Enjoy!
A friend just bought her new dream home. It has all the features she wanted, including a beautiful back yard swimming pool. She planed to have lots of fun times there with her family. But she remembered to factor in the pets when she consider pool safety. Here are some ideas about keeping that pool safe for the pets.
Do a swim check. Don’t just assume your dogs can swim – not all dogs are good swimmers. Take your pets out to the pool and let them go in the water, then watch carefully. Make sure they can swim comfortably, and at ease navigating around the water. Especially as dogs get older, they become weaker and might have trouble swimming. Once you have determined that they can swim safely, you’ve gone a long way to providing a safe pool environment. Here are some more great articles with additional details:
Show them the way out. A set of steps at one end of the pool might not be easily to spot for a dog in the water. Consider putting large potted plants on either side of the steps, to clearly mark the exit. While the dogs are in the water, call them out, while standing next to the steps. Do this several times until the message becomes clear that this is how they will get out of the pool. When they are back in the water, stand next to the back door of the house, and call the dogs to you. If they swim right to the steps and come to you, that’s great – they can find the exit.
Install a pool ramp. Sometimes if the dogs are older, they may need a little additional assistance getting out of the pool. Pet ramps are constructed to assure the pet an easy way out of the pool, and are easily visible if the pet is in the water.
Get a pool cover. You don’t want to have a pool, and have to keep the dogs inside where they can’t enjoy the back yard. More importantly, you want the dogs to be safe while they are in the yard. In addition, if a neighborhood dog ever found its way into your yard, they are not exposed to a potential hazard. The type of cover is important. A floating cover is not recommended for pet owners – a dog could mistake it for a solid surface, run onto it, get entangled and be in real trouble. A mesh cover allows the pool to breathe and doesn’t collect rain water on top of it, but a dog could become caught in the mesh and panic. A solid cover is the best choice – they attach to the sides of the pool, and are rated to hold up to 4,000 pounds, so they can easily stand even the weight of a big dog. Deploy it when you aren’t using the pool, and there’s another layer of safety for the pets.
Provide drinking water. Make sure there is a big bowl of water in the shade near the pool. Call your dogs out of the water and have them get a drink, which cuts down on the likelihood that the dogs will drink pool water. It also assures that they will stay well hydrated – it’s hot and humid on summer days, and while playing in the water, the dogs will build a big thirst. Once the dogs are conditioned to use that water bowl, they will be more likely to drink from it regularly.
Sit back in the shade and smile, as you watch the kids and the dogs splashing around in your new pool, knowing you’ve provided a safe place for them to have fun.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.
I want to thank Kaitlin for taking the time to write this excellent post on dog safety.
Do your dogs like to swim? What precautions do you take to keep them safe?