Taking your pup in the pool? Water safety tips for 4-legged friends

Posted: Updated:
(Source; Maricopa County Animal Care and Control) (Source; Maricopa County Animal Care and Control)

With our temps reaching the crazy triple digits, many pet owners are tempted to take their pets into the pool to cool off.

In fact, next week (when it could reach 120 degrees!) Maricopa County Animal Care and Control will be taking some of its shelter pets for a pool party at Second Home Pet Resort in Phoenix. The resort has a special pool that is perfect for dogs, with a maximum depth of 18 inches.

If you plan to swim with your own pups during these dog days of summer, here are some safety tips from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control 

  • Limit Pool Access  - It's always a good idea to have an enclosure that will prevent your dog from visiting the pool when you aren't there to supervise. Pool fencing or a barrier made exclusively for pets will reduce the chance of your pooch having an accident (whether it is on a slippery pool deck or in the pool itself). Whatever barrier you choose, make sure it's tall enough to prevent your dog from jumping and/or climbing over.
  • Not all Dogs are Natural Swimmers - Many people believe all dogs can swim, and while most breeds can at least paddle to stay afloat, there are some dogs that struggle to keep their head above water. Typically, low and sturdy breeds (Bulldogs), barrel-chested dogs and breeds with short faces or snub noses (Pugs) lack the physical capacity to swim. If your dog wants to be in the water but struggles to swim, consider a doggie life vest. However, don't rely solely on the vest; pets in water still require supervision.
  • Teach Pets How to get Out of the Pool - Even experienced swimmers can struggle to exit a pool if they cannot locate the stairs. Mark the stair area with a large visual such as a plant to help your dog orient and find his way out. Make sure your dog enters and exits from the same location each time. Consider a pool ramp for older, obese or small dogs.
  • Beware of Pool Chemicals - Don't allow your pet to drink excessive amounts of pool water and be sure to rinse off your dog after a swim. Chlorine and other pool chemicals may cause stomach upset and can irritate skin.

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