Do you plan to hit the pool this summer? Swimming is a great way to cool off on sweltering summer days. Many of our canine buddies also enjoy swimming. Just be sure to put your dog’s safety first. Pools can be very dangerous for Man’s Best Friend! Here, a Cherry Hill, NJ veterinarian discusses keeping Fido safe at the pool.
Some dogs are natural swimmers, and take to the water with little or no prompting. Others? Not so much. If Fido doesn’t know how to swim, take time to teach him. Be sure to support your pooch while he is learning. Use praise and ear scritches to make the experience enjoyable. Don’t make the mistake of tossing just your dog into the pool. He may figure out the doggy paddle, but he may also be traumatized by the experience, and hate the water afterward.
Get The Green Light
Keep in mind that some dogs, such as small breeds and brachycephalic dogs, are simply not well-suited to swimming. Ask your vet for advice. If you are advised to keep your canine friend out of the water, let him splash around in a kiddie pool instead.
This Way Out
Make sure that Fido knows where the pool steps are. This is very important! If your furry buddy falls in accidentally, you want to be sure he can get out again. Spend a little time on this training, and make sure it really sinks in. You may want to mark the stairs with a visible landmark, like a life preserver.
We recommend keeping your pool gated off when it’s not in use. This goes double for people with pool covers. Dogs sometimes mistake these for solid surface, and try to walk on them. This can be very dangerous!
Fido’s paw pads are very delicate when they are wet. Your cute pet can quickly get blisters by running on harsh surfaces. Use paw balm to protect those furry feet.
As mentioned above, not all dogs are good swimmers. If your pup can’t swim well, get him a doggy lifejacket. You may also want to consider getting pet stairs, especially if Fido is having trouble remembering where the pool steps are.
Please contact us, your Cherry Hill, NJ pet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!