Dogs Drowning in Swimming Pools Can Be Prevented

by Pool Builders on 05-14-2010 in Articles

Across the United States there are thousands of swimming pools, some in ground, some above. Every year dogs drown in these swimming pools. Many dogs are attracted to water and can swim just fine. The problem comes when they can't find their way out of the pool.

There are also dogs such as bulldogs, pugs - dogs with normal breathing problems because of their short muzzles - who may inhale water into their lungs as they are thrashing about in the water. It is more difficult for them to keep their noses above the water.

Most dogs seem to have a natural ability and instinct to swim, although it is best to gradually teach them from puppy-hood. Never throw a dog in a pool of water and expect it to swim. This can cause panic and fear of water. Gently encourage a dog to wade into a body of water such as a lake or a pool, being there to provide support and make the experience a fun thing. Never force a dog to swim. Not all dogs like water.

Swimming is good exercise for both humans and dogs. If you own a swimming pool and don't mind having dog hair in it, this is a good place for your dog to enjoy a cool swim on a hot day and it is good therapy for dogs that can't do much walking because of arthritis or injury. But ALWAYS provide supervision when your dog is swimming in your pool. Also, it is best to hose her off when finished swimming to remove the chlorine which can dry out the hair and skin after prolonged exposure.

If you own a pool and a dog, here are some ways to prevent drowning:

1. First of all, be sure your dog knows how to swim, teaching her gradually and making it fun.

2. Be sure your dog knows where the steps are in the pool. This you will need to teach repetitively until you are sure she will swim there to exit the pool. There are also pool ramps for dogs. The main reason a dog drowns in a pool is from exhaustion due to trying to drag its water logged body out in places along the edge where there are no steps or ramp.

3. Have secure fencing around your pool, making it less likely a dog will fall in or access the pool when no one is around.

4. Provide a pool alarm system that will alert anyone in the home to the accidental immersion of a dog or child in the water. These can be found online and are portable, lightweight and easy to operate. They can mean the difference between life and death of a child or dog.

Hot summer days, kids, dogs and swimming pools just go together. There's nothing better than a cool swim on a hot day, but just remember to always supervise and watch for signs of exhaustion in your dogs. They cannot tell us when they are tired and some of them won't stop "having fun" even when they are tired. It's up to us as owners to protect our dogs from drowning and have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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