Dogs and swimming pools are not a natural mix. Contrary to popular myth, not all dogs can swim. In fact, every year, more than 5,000 pets drown in backyard swimming pools. If you have a dog who routinely goes into your backyard and has access to your pool, Anchor Pools & Spas has some precautionary tips to share with you.
Not All Dogs Can Swim
Although most dogs can “dog paddle” if they fall into a pool, this does not mean they can swim or get out of the pool on their own without help. It is true that some dog breeds, like Newfoundlands, Labradors and Golden Retrievers for example, are natural swimmers.
Other breeds, mainly dogs with disproportionately large heads, or those with short legs, are not built to swim. This includes breeds like Dachshunds, Bulldogs, Pugs, Basset Hounds, and Boxers. Some dogs, who had a traumatic experience sometime in their life involving water, may never be comfortable around water. If your dog resists swimming, you should not force it to. Just because your dog likes to play in shallow water, like puddles after a rain, does not mean your dog can or will like to swim.
Even dogs who can swim may still drown if they cannot find their way to the steps or are unable to climb the pool ladder. They generally are unable to get a grip in order to hold on to the side of the pool and keep their head above water. They exhaust themselves by clawing the side and trying to get out and ultimately drown.
Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Drowning
The same methods you use to prevent toddlers and children from drowning in your pool can also be used to prevent your dog from drowning.
· Don’t let your dog out to play alone in the pool.
· If your dog cannot swim, put a life vest on it whenever it is going to be near the pool or playing in it.
· Teach it how to find the steps so it can get out
· Make sure there are no attractive items floating in the water that will attract your dog’s attention and entice him to jump in after them.
· Install a fence around your pool to keep your dog out.
Contact us at Anchor Pools & Spas for help in making your pool safe and secure from accidental dog drownings.