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Summer is just around the corner! As temperatures rise, many people will be cooling off by taking a dip in the pool on those sweltering days. Quite a few of our canine patients also enjoy swimming. Just be careful: pools can be very dangerous for dogs! A Jacksonville, FL vet offers some tips on keeping Fido safe below.
Some dogs take to the water like furry, four-legged ducks. Others? Not so much. Some pooches are uneasy or frightened of water, or just not well-suited to swimming. If Fido doesn’t know how to swim, take time to teach him. You’ll want to gently support your pup as he is learning. Don’t throw your dog into the water: this is both dangerous and scary for dogs.
Make sure Fido knows where and how to get out of the pool. Otherwise, he could be in serious trouble if he ever falls in when no one is looking! If you have an above-ground pool, get some pet stairs: these are easier for dogs to navigate than ladders. Don’t just show him once: take time to work with him, and make sure he really remembers. You may want to put a life preserver or potted tree near the exit to serve as a landmark.
We recommend using the same safety precautions for dogs as you would with a child. First and foremost, never leave Fido unattended near water, even just for a minute. It’s also worth noting that pool coverings are very dangerous for our canine pals. Dogs sometimes don’t realize that these are not solid surfaces, and try to step onto them. We recommend blocking off access to the pool when it isn’t being used. Fencing it in is an easy way to do this.
Our canine companions can get very thirsty when they’re running and playing in hot weather. Fido has been known to just start slurping up pool water. Needless to say, chlorine and other pool chemicals aren’t good for dogs! Make sure your pet always has fresh water.
Just like human skin, dogs’ paws get very delicate when they’re wet. Fido could get painful burns and blisters by running on hot or harsh surfaces. Keep him on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his paws.
Please contact us, your Jacksonville, FL vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!