Everyone loves to spend a little casual time in the pool – including Rover. If you allow your dog to swim, you’re giving him the opportunity to have fun, get a little bit of exercise, and even build cardiovascular health. Just as with humans, the occasional swim can be very therapeutic for your dog if he enjoys it.
But is time in the pool right for every pet? And if you do say “yes” to an excited pet taking a dip, what do you need to know to stay safe and prevent costly repair issues?
We’ll tell you in this post.
Swimming Isn’t for All Pets
Although it may seem strange to think of a dog who doesn’t enjoy swimming, spending time in the water isn’t something all pups look forward to. Furthermore, not every dog is born with an inherent talent for swimming; some need to learn slowly with help from humans. Others just have no interest at all.
If you adopt a new pup or install a pool for the first time, it may be best to cautiously test your dog before you allow him free access. Don’t allow him to jump in at the deep end and don’t give him free access to the pool without supervision. A struggling and panicking pet can pull themselves under, putting their life at risk.
As for other pets, like cats – well, most just aren’t interested in pool time, period. Respect that and never force them into the water if they show resistance. There’s plenty of comfy spots to relax poolside instead.
Lifejackets Benefit Pets, Too
You’ve probably heard that all children should wear lifejackets near the water (pool, beach, or otherwise). This is also true for pets, especially if they aren’t strong swimmers. Canine life jackets keep your pet floating, potentially protecting them in the event of a leg cramp, exhaustion, or if they can’t exit safely for any reason. It’s just good sense – and they’re pretty cute, too!
Consider Pet-Safe Exit Ramps
Dogs can’t climb ladders – and they won’t always make it to the steps if they become exhausted. While in theory, you will always be there to supervise and rescue, installing a special ramp at the deep end acts as a failsafe. Should your dog fall in or become trapped, he’ll have a guaranteed way to get out every time.
Keep Nails Clipped to Prevent a Torn Liner
While it is exceptionally rare for a dog’s nails to tear through a vinyl pool lining, it is still technically possible. For this reason, it may be wise to trim your dog’s nails regularly if you know Fido will spend time swimming.
Your dog’s hair may be more of a concern than her nails. If she sheds significantly, the shedded hair may accumulate in your pool filter, forcing it to work harder. Be sure to check it regularly or have someone from Paradise Pools come in to change it out.