We are often asked whether dogs should be allowed in the pool. The answer is, “It depends.” There are many factors that should go into the decision on whether your dog should be allowed to swim. Some of those include:
- Does your dog like the water?
- Is there someone around to help your dog in case he runs into any trouble?
- Is your dog long haired and if so, are you prepared for the possibility of needing your pool and filters cleaned more often?
- Do you have a way for your dog to easily get in and out of the water?
- Is there anyone who knows how to perform CPR on your pet in case he runs into trouble?
Just as you watch your children in the swimming pool, you need to pay as much attention to your pet if you decide to let him join in the pool fun with the family. A pet should never be allowed to swim alone, nor should he be allowed inside the pool area if no one is in attendance. A pool fence is made to keep a pet out as well as to keep children out so keep your pool safety fence closed and locked when you’re not using the pool. If your dog is an avid swimmer he will likely want to jump in, whether you’re in attendance or not and that could be dangerous
Remember, not all dogs can swim or like the water and even if your dog likes the water, he can quickly become tired and be in danger of drowning. Some dogs will paddle while others will splash around frantically and sink to the bottom. Heavy dogs with short legs or dogs with skinny legs may find swimming more of a challenge than a joy. You may want to invest in a doggie life vest as a safety measure.
If you’re determined to spend time in your pool with your dog, you need to make certain he is introduced to the water in such a way that he isn’t scared of it. You may also want to install a pool ramp so he can get in and out of the water without having to jump in. Make certain too that if you’re letting your dog around the pool, that a solar cover is NOT a safety cover. If your dog is accustomed to simply jumping in the water, if he jumps in and lands on the cover it could be hard for him to get out. This is another reason for not leaving your dog unattended.
It is recommended that you shower before entering your pool and this is no different for your pet. Wash your dog before he gets in to remove any dirt or outdoor debris from his fur and after he gets out of the pool to remove any chlorine from his fur.
Dogs, and especially puppies, love their toys so make sure no dog toys are left in the pool once you’re done swimming. A floating ball or other toy that your dog loves could temp him to find a way to get into the pool area to grab the ball.
For many of us, our dog is more of a family member than a pet. If you have a dog or two, and want to share the fun and enjoyment of your swimming pool with them, remember to keep them safe just as you would the rest of your family.