Summer is coming up quick! Many of us are looking forward to cooling off by going swimming on those sweltering days. Plenty of our canine patients also love swimming. However, be sure to put Fido’s safety first. Pools can be very dangerous for Man’s Best Friend! A New Orleans, LA vet offers some safety tips below.
First and foremost, never leave Fido unattended by water, even just for a minute! Be sure to fence pools off when they aren’t in use. This goes double for people whose dogs can’t swim well, and/or have mobility issues, vision impairments, or other medical problems.
Some dogs take to water like furry, barking ducks. Others? Not so much. In fact, some pooches will just sink in water. Others get winded very easily. Ask your vet if swimming is suitable for your dog. If the answer is no, then keep your canine buddy cool by letting him splash around in a kiddie pool or play in the spray from a sprinkler.
If your furry friend isn’t a good swimmer, put a doggy lifejacket on him when he’s at the pool. For those with above-ground pools, we also recommend getting doggy stairs. These are much easier for Fido to manage than regular ladders!
The first thing you want to do when bringing Fido to a new pool is show him where the steps are. Don’t just show him once: test him out a bit, and make sure that he really remembers. One way to do this is to go to the opposite side of the pool from where the stairs are, and call him to you.
Make sure your canine friend always has fresh water poolside. Don’t let Fido slurp up pool water! Chlorine, bleach, and other chemicals are definitely not something you want your pooch drinking.
Dogs’ paws get very delicate when they’re wet, just like human skin. This makes it very easy for them to get painful blisters after going swimming. Use paw balm to protect Fido’s feet.
Pool covers are a major hazard for dogs. Many pups don’t realize that they are solid surfaces, and try to step onto them. This can be very dangerous! This is another reason we recommend gates.
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