We’re here with a few tips on making sure your dog, if you choose to allow him or her into your Austin pool this summer, is practicing proper safety!

We’ll start by saying common sense should prevail but, just in case, here are a few tips on making sure your dog has a fun and safe water experience.

No free access!

Before we get into how to handle your swimming experience with your dog, let’s get one thing out of the way – do not allow any of your dogs to have unsupervised access to your pool!  A dog going for a swim has its own risks, but those can only be overcome if you are there. If you have a doggy door that leads to an unsupervised pool, consider getting fencing for your pool or a lock hatch for your dog door.

And yes, we do mean supervising your dog in any amount of water – even the kiddie pool!

wpdoggy_small_swim

Life Jacket

This might sound silly to some people but getting your four-legged buddy a lifejacket is a smart move that will act as a potentially life-saving backup.  Pool, beach, or lake, your pooch needs a life jacket.

wp_lake_swim

Make sure your dog wears a properly-fitted life jacket. These are available in different sizes at most pet stores.

Dogs are very live-in-the-moment creatures and can’t always associate overclocking their front legs muscles (common with swimming dogs) to exhausting themselves to the point of it becoming difficult to stay afloat.  Make sure your dog’s life jacket is a snug and comfortable fit so that it is 100% effective.

Put a life jacket on your dog.  Don’t let your dog live life on the edge like this menace to society.

"Being bad feels so good."

“Being bad feels so good.”

Proper Introduction

Make sure your dog has slowly been acclimated to swimming.  Doing some unrushed and caring training before your dog gets into water several feet away from you is a must.  Slowly introducing a dog over a few visits to the pool or our local Barton Springs (the free side as dogs aren’t allowed in the paid part of Barton Springs) can be truly invaluable to acclimating your pooch.  With your guiding hands, your dog will learn the importance of utilizing their back legs to help spread energy usage away from just their front legs.  Is your dog getting exhausted? Take him or her out!  Again, common sense is your best friend during this process.

Marker and manners

A dog needs to know where he or she can get out of your pool.  Because their vision works differently than ours, they may have trouble seeing those pool steps that they came in from.  You need to mark the steps with something, especially if you plan on letting your dog swimming on multiple occasions.  A brightly-colored plant pot is just the thing your dog can use as a visual clue that can be associated with an exit.  If you hate plants (what’s wrong with you?) then you can get creative and think of something else that your dog can associate with a pool exit.  Perhaps your neighbor has been complaining about the garden gnome you’ve recently placed in the front lawn that faces his kitchen windows.  Now’s the perfect time to shift your brightly-colored decoration to the backyard.

wp_gnome

A brightly-colored item by your pool’s steps will give your dog a better understanding of where the exit is when he or she is tired of swimming.

Be sure you set a clear set of boundaries for your dog to follow.  Your dog must be aware that you will not tolerate him or her randomly jumping into the pool when people are swimming.  The dog’s haphazard jumping may end up harming a person in the pool or the dog.  Just like inside your home, manners and boundaries must be respected.

Don’t forget that all these rules also apply if and when you end up taking your dog to a lake or beach.

Also, just like people, some dogs might not want to swim at all!  Take, for example, this dog. He just likes to watch.

wpdoggy_small_swim2

“Best summer ever.”

Rinse and dry/Fresh and Clean

It’s important to rinse your dog with fresh water after the swim and then dry them off.  Make sure their collar is dry as well.  You’ll be protecting your pooch from bacteria and chlorine.

A few last notes… always keep an eye on your dog’s paws. Running around on hot poolsides can harm their paws if it’s done for too long on coarse material.  Last of all, do not let your dog drink pool water!  I don’t think we need to explain why – that’s a no-brainer.

For some inspiration for today’s Pristine Pools blog, we used this APDT article and this Vetstreet article.

Are you going to be letting your dog hop in your pool this summer or are you leaving summer swimming strictly to the humans?  Let us know your plans on our official Facebook page! We love hearing from our customers.

Do you need anything related to your pool?  If so, contact us at Pristine Pools.  We’re a local Austin pool company and handle every job we get with the utmost respect and care.  We can be reached at 512.773.0668.