Pool Safety for Dogs

Does your dog like swimming? Many pups love to romp and play in the water. However, pools can be dangerous for our canine buddies. You’ll need to take some precautions to keep Fido safe around the water. Here, a London, ON vet discusses pool safety for pooches.


Never leave Fido unattended near the water, even just for a few minutes. Keep the pool gated off when it isn’t in use. Pool covers may sound like a good solution, but they can actually be dangerous. Some dogs may try to walk on them, not realizing that they aren’t really solid. This is extremely dangerous! 


One of the first things you’ll want to do is teach your canine pal where the pool exit is. This is extremely important! If Fido falls in accidentally, he needs to know how to get back out. Take some time on this training. Go to the opposite side of the pool from the stairs, and call your pooch to you. It will also help to put a landmark near the stairs, such as a life preserver or potted tree. For extra safety, get doggy pool stairs.


Just like our skin, dogs’ paws get very delicate when they’re wet. Pups can very easily get blisters and burns on their paw pads by running on hot or harsh surfaces, like tar or cement, after going swimming. Keep Fido on soft ground when he gets out of the water.


Speaking of water, try not to let Fido drink from the pool. Chlorine, bleach, and other pool chemicals are definitely not part of your four-legged friend’s recommended daily nutritional servings!


Some pups are natural swimmers, and take to water with very little coaxing. Others are just better off staying on dry land. Senior pets, puppies, small breeds, and brachycephalic breeds generally aren’t well-suited to the water. If you’re not sure if your pet should swim, consult your vet. 

Swim Lessons

Fido may also need swim lessons. Support your furry pal’s weight as he is learning, and encourage him with treats and praise.


When swim time is over, rinse Fido off to get the chemicals out of his fur. Later, when he’s dried off, you’ll want to give him a good brushing … and perhaps a special treat.

As your London, ON veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Please contact us anytime!

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