Swimming Pool Safety for Dogs

One major plus to having your own swimming pool at home is that your pets get to join in on the fun. But just what is safe for your dog when it comes to the swimming pool? Read on for some vital safety tips.

Pool Maintenance

Dogs generally carry around with them much more dirt and debris than humans do, and this means that you need to take extra precaution if they are going to enter the swimming pool. Dogs need to be cleaned thoroughly of all fecal matter before entering a pool so as to prevent the introduction of bacteria such as E. coli into your pool. It is also a good idea to brush them out as much as possible prior to swimming to keep out as much shedded hair as possible. Moreover, if you know that dogs will be using your in-ground pool, you will want to consider installing a water pump system that will turn over all of the water in your pool more frequently, making for a cleaner pool. Large capacity filters are also a great idea, as well as maintaining the pool’s pH and chlorine levels more often.

Your pool’s material also becomes a factor when family pups enter the picture. Vinyl pools scratch and are punctured especially easy by dogs, making tile and concrete much better options here.

Safety for Your Dog

Because pool water is maintained with chlorine, it is especially bad for dogs to ingest. Before your dog even enters the swimming pool, make sure that they do not lap up water from the sides to drink—and discourage them if they do.

Not all dogs will have an innate ability to swim from the moment then enter the pool. Keep this in mind when introducing them to the water for the first time. Watch how they do. If a dog hops into the pool and then begins to struggle to get out of the water, help the dog out of the water immediately. Some dog owners even opt for getting special pool floats made just for dogs to help them feel more comfortable in the water.

Once dogs are out of the pool, you will want to rinse them thoroughly of the chlorinated water to prevent their skin from drying out, and then dry them at the ears to prevent ear infections.

Safety for You

Keep in mind that a swimming dog, while paddling its front paws, may inadvertently harm those close by with the sharpness of its front claws coming into contact with exposed skin. This is especially important to remember when there are young children in the pool, who likely won’t expect dogs to harm them in the pool. Keeping a dog’s nails trimmed and filed regularly can greatly work to reduce potential dangers here.

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