Swimming in the pool with the dogs safely can be a lot of fun. Like any responsible pool owner, there are things that you need to be aware of and maintenance you need to stay on top of to ensure that it is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
If you are on top of the safety requirements for your pool barrier and the surrounding area according to legislation, then you are already one big step in the right direction to keep your dog safe around the pool.
From Safety to hygiene, we will look at the best ways to swim in the pool with dogs safely.
Better safe than sorry
First and foremost, supervision is the key to keeping your dog safe in the water, much like the supervision required for children around the pool.
Ease your dog into the water. Even if they are strong swimmers, they may not be comfortable in pool water. Dogs are curious, and most are natural swimmers; however, it’s best not to rush them into the water, or it can put them off for life.
When it comes to getting your dog used to the pool and teaching them how to be safe, there are a few areas to consider:
Teach your dog how to swim confidently. You can use a lifejacket to help your dog ease into swimming. Guide them by holding your hand under their tummy and help them learn to paddle comfortably.
Train your dog, so they know to wait for your command before jumping into the water.
Show your dog how to get into the water and also exit the water safely. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, it can become exhausted if it cannot exit the pool.
It’s a good idea to ensure you have a ramp or steps for your dog to get out of the water with ease.
A handy tip is to mark the exit of the water with something the dog can use as a landmark, such as a pot plant so that they can identify the exit easily.
Be mindful of the pool cover and ensure that it is packed away safely as a dog can become trapped and panic under a pool cover, putting them at risk of drowning.
Dogs love toys, and toys in the pool are no exception. Brightly coloured toys can attract a dog to jump into the pool, so be mindful not to have toys floating around. It is ok to use pet toys in the pool under supervision.
Is chlorine ok?
Most people wonder if the chlorine in pool water is ok for dogs. The pool water is safe for dogs as long as the chemicals are balanced correctly.
However, it’s not good for dogs to drink chlorinated water, so make sure that you have a bowl of fresh, clean drinking water for them to access when need be.
Teach your dog not to drink water from the pool in the same way that you would train them with any other command.
Potential hazards to be mindful of
There are a few things to be mindful of when it comes to swimming in the pool with dogs safely, including their hygiene and the possible contamination of the pool water.
Dogs are known to explore and sniff around. In doing so, they are often covered in dirt and debris, which can end up in your pool if you let them jump straight in.
It’s a good idea to give them a good brush and even hose them down before allowing them to jump into the water.
Excess debris and dog hair can upset the chemical balance in your water and the filtration system. Teach your dog to wait before getting into the water, so they do not just jump in before you have a chance to clean them off.
Some dogs have skin sensitivities or conditions that can be irritated by the chemicals in pool water. Be mindful of your dog’s skin sensitivities, and make sure you rinse them off after their swim to clear away any excess chemicals and salt from their coat.
Keep an eye on their skin condition after swimming in the pool and if it becomes irritated, give them a break from pool water until it settles.
An equally important part of the puzzle is to keep your pool maintained in a way that caters for having your pet swim around in there.
It’s a good idea to shock your pool after your pet has spent a lot of time in it. Pool shocking is when you add extra chemicals to sanitise your pool thoroughly.
It is not a good idea for a dog to swim in a pool with Vinyl lining as their nails can tear through it. Regardless of whether you have a pool Vinyl lining, you should ensure that your dog’s nails are clipped, and their fur brushed thoroughly to avoid any damage to your pool.
Lastly, when everyone is finished in the pool, ensure that all toys are packed away so that the dog is not tempted to jump in unsupervised.