Pool Safety For Dogs

A dog enjoying a swim in the pool. Making sure the pool is safe for dogs is essential.

Swimming pools are a wonderful source of fun and amusement, not to mention a great way too cool down. The whole family can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool, including your dog.

It is important to remember that even though pools are a great addition to our backyards they can also be dangerous. Pool safety is not only for people and it is important to realise that dogs (and other animals) can drown in pools. The following are some important tips on how to keep your dog, and other animals, safe when they are in or around a pool. Remember, dogs often don’t see the same dangers as you do, so for them jumping in the pool is just fun and not potentially life threatening.

Dogs are often left unsupervised for long periods of time which allows them to get up to mischief. If they decide that they feel like going for a swim or getting into the pool area they can often find a way either by digging, jumping over a fence or pushing through a fence. You need to ensure that the pool fence is safe and well maintained to try and prevent this from happening. Make sure there is nothing on or close to the fence that they could climb on and then jump over the fence. Some dogs might like to dig under a pool fence so they can squeeze their way into the pool area. Be sure to check around the edge of the pool fence daily to see if your dog has been busy digging. Also make sure you do not leave toys in or around the pool as pets may be able to see them and be attracted to them.

If your dog does go swimming in the pool or has access to a pool the first thing you need to show them is how it get out of the pool safely by using the steps or a ramp. Make sure that the pool steps or ramp are dog friendly and easy to use for them. Depending on the size of your dog you may need to alter the steps, sometimes by making more steps, so they can easily get out. A ramp, like a Skamper Ramp, is often the easiest and safest way for your dog to exit the pool.  Ensure that the steps or ramp are not slippery as you don’t want them sliding around on it and hurting themselves.

The other most important pool safety rule for your dog is to teach them how to swim. Not all dogs are good swimmers or even naturally know how to swim. You should teach your dog to swim in a controlled environment when you are in the water with them supervising and able to help if needed. Not all dogs can swim, so you need to show them the basics and help them until they get the hang of it. If you need some tips on how to teach your dog to swim we have a blog post full of help here.  If you are not able to or want a bit of help you should speak to a local dog trainer and they may be able to come and assist.

Invest in a flotation device or life jacket to help keep your dog afloat. There are a few options available like the EzyDog DFD Life Jacket or KONG Sport AquaPro Flotation Vest . They are a great idea if your dog is not a confident or very capable swimmer and it gives you that piece of mind that they are a little bit safer. However, do keep in mind that this does not mean you can leave them unsupervised.

Learn Doggy CPR. As a pet owner knowing Doggy CPR is a useful tool that you hopefully will never have to use but it could possibly save your dogs life. Some local animal organisations, shelters, trainers or your vet may run classes or be able to teach you the correct CPR techniques.

An alarm is a good last line of defence for the pool. There are pool alarms available that are designed to go off when something like a pet or even a fallen branch breaks the water surface.

If you bring home a new puppy or kitten you must ensure that they can not get through the pool fence or better still they don’t have access to the area at all. They are so tiny that they can often squeeze through the standard pool fencing and being young and out exploring they may just end up falling in the pool.

Keep in mind that cats can also drown in pools although most cats don’t like water some breeds like Bengals actually love water. Cats can jump a pool fence and are sometimes attracted to a swimming pool to drink out of or just to look at, which then makes them at risk of falling in.

Never leave a dog unsupervised or with free access to a pool. Even if they can swim, they should never be left alone in or around a pool as accidents can happen. Please make sure that your pool and pool fence are safe and you follow the above tips to help to avoid any tragedies.

Until next time,


Author: Bec

From a very young age Bec has always had a great love and appreciation for all animals. Bec is a qualified Veterinary Nurse and also has a Bachelor in Applied Science Animal Studies with special interest in Wildlife and Recreational Animals. Her studies have been put to good use working in various animal industries including small and large animal veterinary clinics, horse studs and the family cattle property. Horses have played an important part in her life, living on a horse stud and caring for horses throughout breeding, foaling, spelling, racing and retirement. Bec is the proud mum of two gorgeous girls, a beautiful Cocker Spaniel, chickens and many horses including a cheeky little pony.

3 Replies to “Pool Safety For Dogs

  1. I certainly agree that it is a good idea to make sure your pet can’t get into the pool area without supervision. This means having a good fence. My dog is a decent swimmer, but accidents can happen or he could get stuck in the pool. Besides, if your pet can’t get into the pool area because of the fence, then chances are that your kids won’t be able to either.

    1. Exactly! I agree. Having a safe and up to standard pool fence is essential and the best way to keep our pets and kids safe.

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