Keeping Your Dog Safe by the Pool [2024 Update]

The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center ER has its share of drama. Last summer, a dog family was at a pool party when they noticed their French bulldog missing. He was found at the bottom of the pool and was estimated to have been there 1-2 minutes. The owners rescued him from the bottom of the pool and administered CPR, miraculously reviving the little fella. The family brought him directly to AMC where, after an overnight in ICU, he was discharged and as good as new.

This story highlights several things about dogs, pools and swimming. I don’t believe dogs understand what a swimming pool is or how dangerous it can be, and not all dogs are natural swimmers, as this Frenchie’s story clearly illustrates. Many dogs fall in the pool only once and, after they are rescued by their family, never go near the pool again. Every summer there are unsuspecting dogs who fall into the pool when no one else is around. Some drown because they are alone and cannot swim. Others can swim, but quickly become exhausted when they cannot figure out how to get out of the pool.

To protect your dog, here are my suggestions to keep your swimming pool dog safe.

Doggie Lifejackets

AMC’s Integrative & Rehabilitative Medicine Service requires lifejackets for dogs exercising in our underwater treadmills. For those worried their dog might fall into the pool, the same lifejacket might put their minds at ease. At AMC, we have six different sizes ranging from Chihuahua to Irish Wolfhound to fit dogs of multiple proportions cared for by The Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service,

Doggie Pool Alarms

I found a huge variety of swimming pool alarm systems online. There are alarms that detect motion in the pool water. There are other alarms worn on your dog’s collar that beep when they get wet, alerting you to the fact that your dog has fallen into the pool. For reviews and recommendations on pool alarms, check out the Good Housekeeping Research Institute website. If I had a pool, I would want an alarm system with both a poolside and a remote alarm, so no matter where I was I could hear the alarm going off.

Pools Fences

I also found an assortment of pool fences to cordon off your pool from an inquisitive puppy or a curious child. There are removable fences that form a temporary barrier – providing safety, while maintaining aesthetics. There are also pool nets that stretch over your pool to keep little kids and small dogs safe. You could also construct an invisible barricade by installing an electric fence or by quickly setting up a wireless instant pet fence.

Pool Ladders, Stairs, Ramps and Doggie Docks

If your pool has stairs rather than a ladder, spend some time in the pool with your dog, teaching him how to swim to the stairs and use them to get out of the pool. If your pool only has a ladder, then consider installing a ramp and teaching your dog to use it to escape from the water. You can also look into a floating doggie dock to provide a canine-friendly point of exit from the pool.

To learn more about first aid in pets, watch the Usdan Institute’s Institute for Animal Health Education’s video on the topic.

animal medical center, ann hohenhaus, dogs, lifejacket, pet health, pets, pool safety, swimming pool, treadmill, veterinarian, wireless pet fence,

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