Another great advantage of having a swimming pool is creating a healthy outlet for fun and exercise for your four-legged friends. Just like their human friends, dogs love swimming and can experience a wide range of health benefits for doing so. Plus, it’s a great way for them to release energy, especially if they’ve been stuck indoors all day.
But before you let your pup in the pool, there are a few important things to consider. You want your dog to have fun, of course, but you also need to make sure he’s safe. We recently stumbled upon a great post that outlines several safety tips to follow before letting Rover in the pool.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Make sure your dog can swim
Most dogs naturally know how to swim, but some cannot. Others may need a little support at first before they figure it out. Consider starting in the shallow end to see how he does before moving to deeper water.
- Get in the pool with your pup
This is especially important if you’re uncertain about your dog’s swimming ability. When your dog first goes in the pool, you should be right there to provide any help they might need. (Also, your dog will love the extra attention!)
- Never leave your dog unattended
Treat your pup like one of your children. Leave no room for accidents. Always stay with your dog when he’s going for a dip. And restrict access to the pool when swimming time is done.
- Consider a doggie life jacket
Regardless of whether your dog is a great swimmer or needs some help, a doggie life vest is never a bad idea. Some extra flotation will ensure he’s safe if he begins to struggle.
- Talk to your vet first Is your dog healthy enough for swimming?
Does he have any conditions that might make it a bad idea to go in the pool? What about doggie CPR – do you know how to do it in an emergency? These are all important questions to ask before going in the pool with your dog.
- Make sure your dog can get out of the pool
This is just as important as being able to swim. Be sure to show the dog the steps that enter in and out of the pool. This gives them a point of reference that is an exit out of the water. If a walk in step is not an option on your pool, please make sure to be in the water with your dog to assist them in getting out of the pool. Monitor your dog closely to see how easily they can get out. If you notice any difficulty whatsoever, do whatever you can to make it easier, or don’t let him in the pool at all.
- Don’t lose sight of general obedience
Before you take Fido for a dip, he should already respond to basic commands, like “No,” “Stay” and “Come.” If your dog doesn’t do so well with Obedience 101, then the pool might not be the safest place to play.