Pets and Pools: Keeping the Family Pet Safe

Universally, the swimming pool is one of the best ways to combat summer heat. The number of children who die in pool-safetyswimming related accidents annually is staggering, but there are other family members who drown as well. While there is not approximate number, many dogs die in swimming pools each year.

Most people assume that a dog can swim and will not concern themselves with the family pet being around the pool. This is a terrible mistake, because not all dogs can swim well. Some breeds, particularly stocky ones, do not have the physical capabilities to swim. Couple this to a high degree of muscle mass, and it can be a very dangerous mix.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep your family pet safe around the pool this summer. This is in addition to the other advice we have shared with you on summer health for your pets.

1. Never assume – All dogs may or may not swim well or at all. As your dog ages, abilities diminish considerably. This includes stamina when swimming.

2. Night – Night and diminished abilities mean dogs may panic if they slip into the water. Panic burns energy much more quickly, and your dog can exhaust before reaching safety.

3. Seizure disorders – Some dogs have seizures. Dogs that have seizures do not need to be around pools at all.

4. Safety products – There are lots of products on the market for safety like pool alarms for when people fall in. There are collars you can purchase for the same reason and fencing is always a great preventative.

5. Pool ramps – Many dogs cannot accurately maneuver steps out of a pool. A ramp may help, but it is not a substitute for the items mentioned in #4 or direct supervision.

Summer should be about fun and joy not sorrow. Keep an eye on your family pet this summer, have plenty of water on hand and watch them carefully around pools. If you do happen to have an emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you are going away or have not had your dog checked in some time, bring them into Durham Animal Hospital for a full physical examination. We offer a wide range of services for your furry family member including wellness and preventive care, vaccinations, elective surgery and more. Visit our website to learn about all of the services we offer. We help keep your pet in top shape all the days of their life.

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