This year we had one of our dearest clients give us the terribly sad news that their dog passed away over the weekend by drowning in their pool while they went out to dinner. The news came hard and the realization that dogs are very much like children and we need to do what we can to prevent them from harm however we can.
Time of season is not the only time to prevent accidents and illnesses, pet proofing your home is absolutely important all year round. Regardless, summer is here, and that means pool parties and days spent at the beach are well under way. While we all want to enjoy the warm weather with our friends, families and pets, we need to be aware of the very real danger of pet drowning.
It’s estimated that thousands of family pets die in drowning incidents each year, though real numbers are not known, because most incidents go unreported.
Pool Safety Tips for Pets
There are some basics rules you can follow to prevent tragedy when pets are around any body of water. First, your pet should always be taught where the steps in the pool are located or where to exit the body of water, in case he falls in or gets in trouble while swimming.
Even pets that are experienced swimmers can sometimes panic if they accidentally fall in the pool. Pets that are too small to use steps should not be allowed in the pool.
Here are some other helpful strategies for keeping your pet safe:
- * A fence should be installed around the pool
- * Install a pet safety ladder in the pool so your pet has easy exit access.
- * Pets should not be allowed around the pool without supervision.
- * Pool covers are NOT a form of protection. Covers can be deceptive to pets, as they look like a solid surface but can give out and lead to a tragedy.
- * Familiarize your pet with water at a young age; don’t assume he can swim.
- * Consider purchasing a pool alarm system. These float in the pool and go off when there is a disturbance in the water.
- * Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately if a near-drowning or water injury occurs.
Water Safety Away from Home
If you’re heading out for a day at the beach or lake, there are other precautions that should be taken. Water is different depending on where you're going, the waves at the beach, the current of a river and the calm waters of backyard pool. Each with very real dangers.
We recommend investing in life vets for your fur kids. This is at least one way to prevent them from going under. We recommend using that life vest whenever you're around any body of water.
If you’re taking your pet to the beach for the first time, keep him on a leash while he’s near the water. Once he becomes familiar with the ocean, follow the leash rules as posted on the beach. Most beaches (and dog parks) require dogs to be off leash in order to prevent aggressive and territorial behavior.
We recommend investing some time and learning CPR for your fur kid...you never know when that will come in handy.
Summer Fun for Pets
Many pets do enjoy the water, and some are even natural swimmers. It is easy to have an enjoyable experience around a pool or lake with your pet. Implementing the simple safety measures listed above will ensure that your summer experience in a fantastic one.
Hope everyone stays safe and let us know when you need us...we are here for you!
Until next time...
Dr Marcus Smith