Pet Safety: Pools

“By far, the most common reason why a dog drowns or nearly drowns in a pool is because they suffer from dementia or are blind or both, fall into the pool and are unable to get out,” says Dr. James Barr, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Otherwise, safety depends on your dog’s ability to get in and out of the pool.”Although your children may be competent swimmers, do not assume that your pets are."

MYTHBUSTER:Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are efficient swimmers.

​This common misconception can be life threatening to your pet. “The dogs that are considered to be brachycephalic, such as English bulldogs, American bulldogs, and French bulldogs, are notoriously bad swimmers,” says Barr. Therefore, it is smart to teach these dogs how to swim and exit the pool safely to prevent drowning.“A good gate will be the best way to limit pet access to the pool. Keeping the door closed at all times is important for children and dogs alike, as is only allowing them to be in the pool area supervised." Another popular concern among pet owners is whether it is safe for Fido or Fluffy to drink pool water. Dr. Barr explains that while it typically is not safe, there are some pool waters that are worse than others for drinking. It is also important that your pool’s chemical balance is correct, as algae can be disruptive to pets’ health. “The typical chlorine pool could be quite irritating to the gastrointestinal tract and could cause some electrolyte issues if enough is drunk,” says Barr. “Saltwater pools, although not as salty as seawater, can also cause electrolyte problems if enough is consumed.”
​You should always consult with your veterinarian before allowing your dog to swim.


Heat Stroke in Pets

Source: Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine