Water Safety Protecting Pets Pools Pet Hospital health records indicate swimming pools are dangerous for pets. An untrained animal will probably head for the nearest edge of the pool to get out, but slippery pool walls do not offer an easy exit. Panic can quickly ensue and lead to exhaustion. Barking may be difficult for a dog in the water, making it tough for them to cry for help. Pools with a vinyl liner offer no grip for the animal, and vertical ladders are nearly impossible for pets to climb. A solar blanket can both entice a pet, e.g., to chase a bird, and entrap it. Banfield, The Pet Hospital (Portland, Oregon) advises:
- Never leave pets unattended around a pool.
- Fence your pool with a secure gate, and never leave your pet inside the fenced pool area unsupervised.
- Make sure pets can get out of the pool. If a dog jumps or falls in and doesn’t know how to get out without help, it may panic and drown.
- Not all pets are excellent swimmers, so if water is a big part of your family life, introduce pets to water gradually.
- Try not to let pets drink pool water. Chlorine and chemicals used to keep pools free of algae and contaminants can cause pet health problems, such as dry mouth or gastric distress.
- Be mindful of pet swimming precautions and consider safety products available to ensure your pet’s safety.