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Pool Safety for Dogs

June 15, 2016
As you’ve probably noticed, summers can get pretty hot here in Georgia. One of the best ways to cool off on a sweltering day is to head for the pool. Our canine buddies also enjoy swimming. Just be sure to always put Fido’s safety first: pools can be very dangerous for dogs! In this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Savannah, GA veterinarian discusses pool safety for dogs.

Teaching Fido To Swim

While some dogs take to water like oversized, furry ducks, others need to be taught to swim. If your canine buddy can’t swim, give him some lessons. Get into the water with Fido, and hold him up gently until he gets the hang of it. Offer treats and praise, so he doesn’t get scared. It’s important to note that swimming is harder for some dogs than it is for others. For instance, brachycephalic breeds, like pugs, lose their breath easily, and can tire out very quickly in the water. Ask your vet for recommendations.


The first thing you should do when bringing Fido to the pool is show him where the stairs are. That way, if he ever falls in, he’ll be able to get out again. Don’t just show him once: test him a bit, and make sure he remembers. It’s a good idea to put a visible marker, like a potted tree, near the stairs.

Paws and Fur

Just like human skin, dogs’ paw pads get very delicate after being immersed in water. Fido can get painful blisters on his feet from running around on hot or hard surfaces, like pool decks or sidewalks, after going swimming. Keep your canine pal on soft surfaces when he gets out of the water. We also recommend hosing your pooch off with clean water after he’s been swimming, to get the chlorine out of his fur.

Pool Protection

Pool coverings present a serious risk to our canine buddies. Fido could easily mistake the cover for a solid surface, and hop onto it. It’s also very easy for senior dogs, puppies, and pets with poor vision to accidentally fall into pools. Because it’s always better to be safe than sorry, we recommend fencing off your pool to make sure your beloved pet can’t fall in when no one is looking. Please contact Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA animal clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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