While many pool owners are understandably concerned about keeping children safe around their pool, they aren’t the only ones who must be monitored. We also need to watch our four-legged friends around water. To keep our beloved pets (and any other critters that might wander into the yard) safe around the pool, consider the following tips:
Although most believe all dogs know how to swim, this isn’t true. Certain breeds of dogs have trouble swimming, Petwave reports, as do elderly dogs and those with health issues like blindness or hearing problems. Just like you watch your kids closely when they are swimming, keep a sharp eye on your precious pooch. Never assume that he or she will know what to do in the water. Even puppies who liked to swim may grow up to be arthritic dogs who are frightened and unsure in the water.
Secure the Area
If you have two-legged kids, chances are good your pool is already fenced. But if you are the proud parent of only four-legged kids, you might not have considered putting a barrier around the pool. Pet parents should keep their pool area safe and secure too, and you may wish to purchase some products that can assist getting your pets out of the water should they fall in. As Specialty Pool Products notes, a pool alarm is the number one safety product for pool owners. If anything that weighs 15 pounds or more falls into the water, a loud alarm will sound inside the house. Another great product is called Safety Turtle; this pet-specific alarm features a turtle-shaped device that goes on your pet’s collar; if the turtle gets submerged in water it will sound a loud alarm on the base station (not near your pet’s sensitive ears). This is a terrific safety feature that can be left on your pet’s collar at all times.
Teach Them How to Get Out
Even though the pool’s surface might look solid to dogs, they should be shown it is not something they can just walk on. Introduce your puppies or dogs to the water and then show them how to get out. Although they cannot typically see the steps, they can learn where to exit the pool. A great way to teach them how to get out is to keep a couple of small planters filled with flowers on the pool deck near the steps—this will give your dog the visual cue he or she needs to know where to get out of the pool.
Keeping other critters safe
Dogs are not the only animals that can end up in your pool; birds, frogs and even deer can end up in the water. As the Humane Society notes, smaller wild animals can usually be scooped to safety with a large pool net or even the bristled end of the broom. If a larger animal like a deer manages to somehow get past the pool fence, you can use a chaise lounge or a pool float as a ramp that will assist the animal in leaving the water. Of course, you don’t want to get too close to wild animals to prevent getting bitten or scratched.