Pooch Pool Safety
PetSmart Tara Demarco
Many dogs love the water, but not all dogs are naturally designed for water activities. Whether your pooch is a swimmer or a watcher, these basic pool safety tips can keep your dog safe:
· Introduce your dog to the water slowly. Not all dogs are natural swimmers, especially brachycephalic breeds with short, wide heads and flat muzzles like Pugs, English Bulldogs and Boston Terriers. Also keep in mind, many body types are not naturally buoyant. Take the time to dog-proof your pool area.
o Fences are a great way to keep your dog away from the pool when they are not being supervised.
o When in the pool, a doggie life vest is great for those breeds that are not good swimmers. Swimming is exhausting. A doggie life vest ensures that your dog stays afloat.
- Make your dog rest. Most dogs will fetch until they drop. Just like with kids, dogs must be forced out of the water every now and then to rest. A tired dog is more at risk of drowning. Bring fresh water for your dog to drink. Your dog will be tempted to drink from that large body of water.
- Dry your dog's ears. Moisture in the ear canal contributes to ear infections.
- Give your dog a quick rinse with the hose after a swim. Chlorine and other chemicals can dry out your dog's skin. Never leave your dog unattended around water - even if he has a safety vest and is an excellent swimmer.
- Teach your dog how to get out of the pool. Get in the pool with your dog and show him how to reach the steps. Do this several times. If he falls in, he'll know how to get out.
- Try not to let dogs drink pool water. Chlorine and chemicals used to keep pools free of algae and contaminants can cause pet health problems, such as dry mouth or gastric distress
Summer is quickly approaching and backyard pool fun is definitely a great way to get the entire family together.
Tara DeMarco, Pet Parent of 2 French Mastiffs, an English Bulldog and 4 well behaved and beautiful parrots, has been a part of the PetSmart team for approximately 17 months. Initially serving as a paralegal, she found her niche and passion in Pet Safety in January 2010. As part of her commitment as the Pet Safety Manager, she has been dedicated to educating Pet Parents and fellow associates on the importance of pet safety and awareness.