Water Safety for Pets

Equipping your backyard pool with dog stairs or a dog ramp is an easy way to make sure your pet has a reliable escape route out of the water. Some dogs love the water and take to swimming like Olympic athletes, but other dogs can’t swim because of their age, health or breed. And, there are always some dogs that simply don’t like the water!

The American Kennel Club recommends that pet owners assess their dog’s preferences and skills before trying to make them swim. If you see that your dog likes the water and is physically able to swim, some simple training in the pool and the use of water safety devices can help keep him safe. Here are some tips:Pawz Pets Doggy Boat Ladder



1. Pet Safety Starts with a Pool Fence and Gate Alarm

As with children, supervision around the pool area is key to pet safety. Keep unsupervised pets and stray animals out of the pool by enclosing it with a fence that’s at least 48-inches high. Choose a fencing style that dogs can’t
jump or climb over easily and install a gate alarm to alert you if the pool entrance is left open accidentally. As an added precaution, get a pool alarm that sirens when a person or pet falls or jumps into the water. A water immersion pool alarm is a type that activates when a special tag worn on the dog’s collar gets wet, eliminating the possibility of false alarms caused by wind or falling branches.



Paws Aboard Dog Life Jacket Yellow2. Teach Your Dog to Swim

Swimming lessons for a dog? Believe it or not, not every dog knows instinctively how to swim and some breeds are not good swimmers because of their physical structure. Pool owners should introduce their pets to the pool slowly and follow proper dog training techniques to teach them how to paddle and get them familiar with the layout of the pool. A dog life jacket can provide another layer of protection for poor swimmers and aging dogs. Many trainers recommend using a dog life vest during swimming lessons to give your pet added buoyancy.



Floating doggydock deck and ramp by Dog-On3. Provide a Reliable Escape Route with Dog Stairs or Ramp

Swimming is hard work for dogs and many tire quickly. Because a fatigued dog runs the risk of panicking and sinking, you must provide your pet with a safe exit out of the pool. Make sure he knows how to find that escape route and knows how to use it.

Specially-designed dog stairs provide pets with a non-slip surface at just the right height and angle and often work better for dogs than the built-in pool steps or ladders for people.  There are even special doggy boat ladders that make it easy for pets to get out of the water and back on board your boat.  Another option is an inflatable, independently floating deck and ramp that gives swimming dogs a place to rest as well as a safe exit from the pool.



All of these water safety techniques and pet products – swimming lessons, a pool fence, gate alarm and pool stairs — will help keep your dog safe in the backyard pool.  And, remember that one of the most important precautions you can take is to never leave your pet unattended in the water.

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