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Staying Safe and Cool While in the Pool

Summer always means water – beach, pool, rivers and lakes.  It may seem that summer won’t be complete without going for a swim at least.  And for the majority of us, the most accessible body of water might be our backyard pools.  Well, we may have not chosen a house with a pool specifically for our dogs, but having them spend the dog days of summer with us is just as fun.

Most dogs are natural swimmers.  Although, there are some breeds that may have difficulty staying afloat.  Pugs, for example, might look cute with their awkward kind of paddling. But the truth is, it is a real struggle because of their short legs and snout.  So, whether you have a dog who is a great swimmer or one who will just sometimes get wet by accidentally falling in the pool, safety should always be first.

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Training pups should not be limited to feeding, relieving themselves at the right spot or learning how to sit, jump or roll.  Trainer Mikkel Becker suggests that dogs be trained on how to get in and out of the pool with ease. They should be given ramps or stairs and familiarize themselves with all exits so they have a variety of options when getting out of the water. Much more, it is better that they learn to only jump in when their humans signal them to do so.  This way, he will not get in the water without supervision. Remember, no matter how good a swimmer your dog is, it is never ideal to let him in or around and body of water unsupervised.

Doggie life jackets are also an essential.  Just like when playing chase, dogs will paddle without having to realize how tired they already are.  They’ll continue doing so until they’re exhausted and can no longer paddle causing them trouble in finding the exit.

Owners should also consider having a permanent, secure fence around the pool area.  If it may seem impossible due to structuring reasons, a removable one should be in place.  These fences will play part during the times when you cannot look out after your four–legged friends.  Make sure that the fences are durable and high enough so that your dogs can’t climb or jump over them. Keep in mind, however, that placing these fences is just an additional precaution.  If you have a large dog who is very much an avid swimmer, he will do everything in his power to get to the pool. With that being said, still, supervision is best.

Between salt water and chlorine, which one is the better choice?  Some pet owners claim that salt water type of pool is easier on dogs’ skin.  Regardless, the biggest concern here is water ingestion. Dogs may not intentionally drink from the pool water but the chances of lapping are high every time they try to retrieve the ball.  Chlorine water can cause low sodium while saltwater can cause salt intoxication in dogs. To avoid these, make sure to keep plenty of drinking water within reach and use collapsible bowls to quench your dog’s thirst while in the pool.

As the temperature gets high, both humans and our canine friends become excited to dip in. So let’s make sure that we observe safety precautions to delight in the heat of the sun with our canine friends, accident–free.

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