Pets are like children in many ways, and if you have owned a pet you know that they are an important part of your life and emotional attachment is very strong.
Just as parents of children need to keep their kids safe, pet parents need to keep their pets safe too.
Generally speaking, when people think about pet safety around pools the first thought is of dogs. That’s because of the nature of dogs and their affinity to water (sometimes).
Not all dogs like water though, some will not go near a swimming pool but others would stay in the pool all day if they could.
Pools are a great place for dogs to cool off during the “dog days of summer” and they know it!
Dog safety for pools includes having safety equipment and accessories readily available, teaching your dog how to swim at an early age, and understanding other risks specific to pets.
Pool safety devices
Although potentially one of the most expensive of all the pool safety devices, fences can help tremendously with dogs and is probably the most effective.
For some dogs, a fence may just be a quick obstacle they can get around depending on the specific situation setup.
A quick over or under and they have just circumvented your primary defense (how many times have we all seen that happen…). It’s a good idea to have a secondary as well in case that happens and there are other safety devices for poolssuch as door and gate alarms, water monitors to detect motion/vibration, and pool covers and netting that covers the entire pool and are great additions to fencing.
By using a combination of devices to prevent unintended entry to the pool you can drastically reduce the risk of a pet entering an unattended pool and you can also detect if they somehow do and it can mean the difference between life and death.
Believe it or not, not all dogs can swim!
One of the best things you can do is to teach your dog how to swim and how to exit the pool. It could be the difference between life and death for your dog.
According to Pathway Pooch, the perfect age for teaching a puppy to swim is around 10 weeks old.
There are also added benefits to teaching them to swim as it’s great exercise for them, it can be seen as a treat to help train them, and it's just plain fun to do and to watch them learn and grow comfortable in the water.
My dog drinks pool water
A couple of questions that often come are “How do I protect my dog from the pool water” and “my dog drank pool water after shock, is it ok to let her do that”?
This one will be a surprise to a lot of people, but the short answer is that it’s ok for dogs to drink it as long as the water is balanced/sanitary, they don’t drink too much at once, and they don’t do it often.
The most common effect is that it can cause an upset stomach, assuming there aren’t concentrations of algaecide, flock, or any other various pool chemicals that could be more harmful to them of course.
Interestingly, PetMd notes that the bigger risk is if they go into other standing bodies of unsanitized water due to the risk of pathogens such as amoeba and harmful bacteria.
Pool construction considerations and design
You should consider how you want to use your pool with your pet(s) and work with your builder to design a pool that meets your needs from both a safety and functionality perspective.
This could include the type of pool/plaster, depth of the pool, coping material/style.
Even the decking material and coating could impact a pet because of the heat retention.
This is the same concept as walking your dog during the summer, think about how hot the surface you are walking on is and make sure you aren’t damaging their pads.
Administering CPR can be the difference between life and death in humans and it’s the same for pets. Being trained in human and pet CPR is highly recommended for pool owners and is a good idea for pet parents whether they have a pool or not.
In addition, having your vetrinarian’s emergency number readily available in advance could save you an expensive ER visit to the vet, an ounce of prevention and preparation, you get the idea.
Sutro loves our humans, their pets, and their pools and we want you all to be safe and enjoy your time together stress free.
Our philosophy is based on being proactive vs reactive in helping you to make sure you have clean water and we hope that our pool safety tips help you to keep your pool a safe and fun place for those lifelong happy memories.