How to Keep your Dogs Safe at the Pool

east shore blog

Warmer weather brings lots of outdoor activities including pool parties. This is the time of the year where everyone starts getting their pool ready for the summer fun. Who doesn’t love the water? However, pools can also be dangerous for our pets. While you might think your dog will be a natural in the water, the truth is that swimming is not fun—or even comfortable—for a lot of dogs. Not all dogs are good swimmers and some breeds like the bulldog may even drown if left unsupervised around a pool.

Even if your dog loves water, certain behaviors can put him at risk of drowning, unless you take precautions from the start.

Here are a few great tips to help prevent harm to your dog at the pool.

1. Swimming lessons

If it is possible, teach your dog how to swim. If you are not sure how, enlist the help of a dog trainer. They are more than equipped to handle your pooch's fear of water and teach him or her a few swimming basics.

2. Get a Dog Life Vest

Life vests and life jackets are perfect for those dogs that are poor swimmers. They provide extra buoyancy and are available in bright colors so that your dog can stay afloat and remain highly visible. Just don't rely on the life vest so much that you leave your dog unattended. Also keep in mind that a vest should be built especially for the size of the dog.

3. Keep fresh water available for drinking

If you pool has chlorine in it, make sure your dog doesn't ingest too much of it. Keep plenty of fresh water available around the pool so your dog can quench their thirst. Summer heat with all the swimming will result in dehydration if not checked.

4. Do not leave your dog unattended

Even with a life vest and swimming lessons, your dog could get fatigued and not be able to get back to safety. Or they could get caught in a pool toy and not be able to get out of it. Make sure you are always within reaching distance of your dog.

5. Take Care with Older Dogs

Take extra care around older dogs. Senior dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis, vision loss, seizures and a host of other health issues that may require your special attention around the pool or prohibit them from swimming altogether. Confirm with your veterinarian if your dog is healthy enough to swim in the pool.

6. Restrict access to Your Pool

A pool fence or enclosure is a great option if you are unable to supervise a dog that spends most, if not all, his or her time in the backyard. Not a big fan of enclosing your pool with unseemly posts and metal bars? Consider using an "invisible" fence. Invisible, or underground, fencing enables you to keep your pool looking spectacular without sacrificing your dog's safety.

7. Learn Pet CPR

Being able to properly administer artificial respiration and CPR on a dog is vital should your dog accidentally drown in your pool. Some animal organizations and shelters even offer classes on the proper techniques.

8. Take some breaks

We recommend building your dog’s stamina in the water incrementally and knowing exactly the amount of time it takes for your dog to show the most basic signs of becoming tired. Look out for the signs so you can get your dog out of the water and get him/her some rest.

Follow these tips to have a fun swimming summer with your furry friends. Leave us comments and tips on how you have fun during summer this year.

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East Shore's Veterinary Hospital
50 N. Main St
Branford, CT 06405
Mon-Fri : Closed
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : Closed


East Shore's Animal Wellness Center
29 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Monday : 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday : 9.00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday : 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday : 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat-Sun : Closed
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