“Not my dog,” you may be thinking. “He’s an excellent swimmer.”
Perhaps he is. But that doesn’t mean he’s not at risk to become yet another sad statistic.
While swimming may be instinctual in some breeds, others are clueless when in water. For that reason, you should never throw your dog into the pool! Even dogs that can swim may panic when they hit the cold water and can drown in a matter of minutes. Consider pool safety for your pets the same way you would for small children. The dangers are real and it is your responsibility to keep them safe!
Fencing in your pool and having a gate that automatically closes and latches is essential. Pool covers, unless designed specifically for safety are actually more of a hindrance, potentially trapping your pet under the cover while keeping them out of sight.
Underwater pool ramps, such as the Skamper-Ramp™, available at PetSmart and various online pet supply sites, allow your pet an easy exit from the pool should they tumble in. The white color and downward angle of the ramp breaks the surface of the water, making it easy for the pet to see it even while swimming.
Pet immersion alarms and life jackets are also helpful. Alarms will alert you if your pet falls into the pool, and can be purchased at SafetyTurtle.com. Doggie life vests are great for getting your pet comfy in the water.
Your dog can be safer in the water with a little help from you. An excellent resource is Teaching Your Dog to Swim, a Sit Means Sit™ instructional DVD, now on sale on their website for $29.95. This complete step-by-step process will teach you how to introduce your dog to water safely and efficiently.