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School is out, the temperatures are high and the days are long. For children and pets alike, this makes taking a dip in the backyard pool seem more attractive than ever. Although children might be competent swimmers, do not assume pets are. Preventing pool accidents for pets takes adequate planning and careful supervision.

Limiting their access to the pool is an easy and effective way to prevent accidental fall-ins.

“A good gate will be the best way to limit pet access to the pool,” said Dr. James Barr, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Keeping the door closed at all times is important for children and dogs alike, as is only allowing them to be in the pool area supervised.”

Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are efficient swimmers. This common misconception can be life-threatening to a pet.

“The dogs that are considered to be brachycephalic, such as English bulldogs, American bulldogs and French bulldogs, are notoriously bad swimmers,” Barr said.

Therefore, it is smart to teach these dogs how to swim and exit the pool safely to prevent drowning.

Another popular concern among pet owners is whether it is safe for Fido or Fluffy to drink pool water. Barr said while it typically is not safe, there are some pool waters that are worse than others for drinking. It is also important that the pool’s chemical balance is correct, as algae can be disruptive to pets’ health.

“The typical chlorine pool could be quite irritating to the gastrointestinal tract and could cause some electrolyte issues if enough is drunk,” Barr said. “Saltwater pools, although not as salty as seawater, can also cause electrolyte problems if enough is consumed.”

Though a pooch might be eager to splash into the pool on a hot, summer day, there should be set limitations for dogs of a certain ages or medical conditions. Always consult with a veterinarian before allowing a dog to swim.

“By far, the most common reason why a dog drowns or nearly drowns in a pool is because they suffer from dementia or are blind or both, fall into the pool and are unable to get out,” Barr said. “Otherwise, safety depends on your dog’s ability to get in and out of the pool.”

While there are many effective ways to ensure a pet’s safety when near a pool, the most important precautionary measure is adequate supervision. Just like with children, leaving pets unattended around a pool can lead to unnecessary injury. This, along with teaching Fido how to swim and correctly exit the water, can keep the pool area a fun and safe environment.

Another great way for your dog to stay cool in the heat of the day is to come to doggy daycare!! The Pet Resorts offers indoor play yards for Fido and Fluffy! They can play for 5-6 hours in a climate control area! Call to make you reservation today at 404-596-4333. Also check us out at and on Facebook!

Article provided by Julie Belschner, Times-Press