Keeping your pool area safe is more than just something to think about if you have children. Dogs can also end up in danger if they spend time unsupervised around a pool. Here are 4 ways to keep your dog safe with a pool.
Install a Fence
A pool fence is a good idea for many reasons. It reduces your liability and possibly your insurance rates, whether or not you have children. And it can keep pets safely out of the water 24 hours a day. Choose a pool fence that you find attractive, such as a high quality ornamental iron fence, but with some additional considerations. These include such things as:
- Install at least a 4-foot high fence.
- Make it a fence without cross barriers that make it easy to climb.
- Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Regularly maintain the fence, looking for signs that the dog has been digging or damaging the fence.
Teach Him to Swim
Believe it or not, not all dogs are inherent swimmers. Bulldogs, for example -- among other breeds with short muzzles and heavy chests -- are not well-built for the water. If your dog doesn't know how to swim or is timid about the water, work with a professional trainer to help teach your pup to swim. Don't force the dog into the water, as this may do more harm than good. Instead, make the experience fun and rewarding for Fido, including gradually introducing him to deeper areas of water.
Help Him Navigate
Your dog may not fully understand how to navigate the pool, so be sure to begin by teaching him how to get out of the water easily. If the pool is large or your pup has difficulty using the stairs, consider purchasing a "doggy ramp" that floats on the water. This specially-designed escape hatch provides an easy way out of the pool if your dog falls in or gets tired or disoriented while swimming. Teach the dog how to use the ramp and make sure he can do so on his own.
Get a Life Jacket
If your dog is not a proficient swimmer -- either from health or breed characteristics -- invest in a doggy life vest for use when he is playing around the pool. The extra buoyancy can help even a dog who swims well but gets tired after a long day of playing in the water, plus the bright colors help protect him from excitable children in and around the pool. Keep in mind, though, that even with a life jacket, an inexperienced swimmer should never be left unsupervised around the water.
Following these few tips will help ensure that both you and your pets can enjoy your pool safely and happily for many years to come.