Handy hints all pet owners need to know about swimming pool safety
There’s nothing more fun than a backyard swimming pool! Whether you’re casually lounging around after a refreshing dip or watching your kids crazily splashing around and laughing, a pool provides great summertime memories and fun.
And this includes your pets too. Well, perhaps dogs more than cats!
Most dogs love water and being included in your pool time fun. From jumping in after their human mates and swimming a lap to retrieving a floating ball, your dog will have as much fun as you.
But as you would with your kids, your pets also need supervision around a pool. Not all animals are as water-smart as they’d like to think they are and can get into danger if left alone.
Let’s look at how to keep your pets safe around your swimming pool.
Even if you don’t own a pet, you still should be aware of pool safety for animals
You may not be a pet owner, but it’s still worth considering how to keep your pool area safe for all animals.
Depending on where you live, you may have wild animals venture into your yard. Or you may have the local cats who love jumping over your fence. Or you may have a hole in your fence that allows dogs to venture into your yard.
Whichever way an animal may come to be in your yard, you should consider how safe your pool is for them, just as you would for children wandering into your yard.
Top 4 pool safety tips to keep your pets (and others) safe
1. Pool fencing
There are rules for compulsory pool fencing to prevent children from accidentally accessing your pool, but you need to consider if it’s also pet proof. If you’ve got a small dog or cat, you may need to add some clear Perspex at the bottom of the fence to prevent them from slipping through the bars.
If your pool fence is surrounded by gardens (rather than fixed onto paving or concrete), check that your dog isn’t digging under the fence to gain access.
And, if your dog or cat is a bit of a jumper or climber, make sure you don’t leave them any temptations to get over the fence easily! Move chairs, tables, ladders etc., away from your pool fence as added protection to stop them from launching over the fence.
2. Pool steps or ramps
Most inground pools will have steps, but you could also consider a non-slip ramp to make it easier for your pet to get out. A ramp is great for little kids or those with injuries to get in and out too!
It’s best to train your pet on using the pool steps. Although they’re likely to jump straight in from the edge (that is the best fun, after all), you can train them to swim towards the steps or ramp to make their escape.
That way, if your dog accidentally falls into your pool, they won’t panic and try and jump back out the side, but rather swim towards the safety of the steps or ramp.
3. Pool alarms or sensor cameras
If your pet is not a water lover or has no idea how to swim, there are some techy measures you can take.
There are pool alarm sensors that you can buy that you attach to their collar. A perimeter is set around your pool, and when your pet enters that area (usually within a pool fence) or happens to fall in the water, the alarm is triggered, setting off an alert within your home. You’ll know your pet may be in trouble and can get outside to help.
Another thing you may do is set up sensor monitors in your pool area. Most footage can be accessed through mobile phone apps. When the motion sensor is triggered, you’ll be able to see what your pet is doing on your phone. You can quickly get outside if they’re in trouble or call a neighbour to pop over and help your pet.
4. Pool covers
Pool covers are a great way to keep everything out of your pool – including pets. You will need to make sure that the cover is securely fitted and won’t collapse if your pet walks or jumps on top of it.
The last thing you’d want is your pet to get tangled in a pool cover and not be able to escape. Talk to your swimming pool experts to ensure you get a suitable pool cover.
Covering your pool also acts as a deterrent. If your pet can’t see water moving (so tempting on hot days) or things floating around in the water, they’re less likely to be interested in the pool and stay away.
Here’s what to do after your dog has been in your pool
Regardless of whether you’ve got a salt or chlorine pool, it’s recommended that you hose your dog off after they’ve been for a swim. This is especially important if your dog has any skin conditions that may be worsened by the chemicals in your pool.
Do your routine checks and keep up the cleaning to ensure the water quality stays clean for everyone. Remember to check the filters often, as you’ll find they’ll be collecting all the loose hairs coming off your pet.
Supervision is always the best option for pets around your pool
If you’ve got a dog who loves to swim, but you’re out at work all day long, why not hire a pet minder to pop over and let them have a dip! You’ll come home to a happy yet tired dog who’s ready to crawl up on the couch with you.
I’d be more than happy to help! You can view my range of services here.
Take care and pat your fur babies from me.