For some dogs (and cats) the pool is a refreshing way to cool down during the hot summer months. It can also be great exercise and an enjoyable way of staying active when the sidewalks are too hot for a run. Keeping the pool as a safe and enjoyable environment requires a little planning and attention to possible hazards.
When you open your pool for the season, it’s a good time to review the pet safety of your pool area.
– Pets should not have access to the pool unless supervised. A pet proof fence can be installed to limit access to the pool. Is
the fence pet-proof and gate in working order?
– If a fence is not an option, consider using a pool alarm system. If you have one installed, confirm that the batteries are fresh and you can hear/see the alarm no matter where you are in your house or yard.
– Check the pet ramps or pet ladders installed in your pool to make sure they are in good working order. Does your pet know where they are and how to use them? Add a visual marker to help your pet recognize where the steps, pet ladder or pet ramp is located.
– Is your pool cover pet-safe? Floating covers can trap pets if they accidentally fall in a pool and are normally not recommended for use in households with pets or children.
– Keep pool chemicals safely stored and out of pets’ reach. Undiluted pool chemicals can be toxic for your pet.
– Check your pool chemistry before letting your dog go for a swim.
– Pool decks can be extremely hot. If the deck is too hot for you to walk on, it is too hot for your pet. Wet the deck down before you allow your pet to walk on it.
– Remind gardeners, pool cleaners and anyone who works in your home that pets live in your home and gates must be securely latched.
It is estimated that several thousand pets die annually by drowning. Don’t let your pet be a statistic. Practice water and pool safety.