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How to keep your pets safe around the pool

Who doesn’t enjoy spending time in the pool when the weather heats up? But if you have pets at home, a pool can pose a serious hazard to your four-legged family members. Just as with small children, you want to ensure that dogs, cats and other pets are safe when they’re around your pool. If you want to enjoy your pool this summer and ensure that your pets stay safe, it takes some planning. Check out these tips for increasing the protection around your pool and preparing your pets if they find themselves in the water. 

How to limit pool access for pets

Supervise your pets

The easiest way to keep your pets safe around the pool is to make sure they’re always supervised. Never allow them to wander around the pool area if there isn’t someone around to keep an eye on them. If your dog or cat does fall in the pool, you want to be right there to help them out. 

Sometimes, your pets may find their way into the pool area when you’re not aware. Installing security cameras around your pool can help you supervise your furry friends even if you’re inside the house. Many cameras are motion-activated, so the camera’s app sends an alert to your smartphone or tablet when it detects movement in its line of view. If your dog, cat or other pet approaches the pool area, you’ll know right away so that you can get outside to intervene. 

Block pet access to the pool

If you don’t want to worry about your pets getting into the pool unsupervised, it’s best to block access to the area with a barrier. Putting a fence around your pool is usually the easiest way to keep out pets and small children. In fact, many cities, towns and local municipalities have zoning laws requiring pool fences. 

In addition to putting up a fence, it helps to have a pool alarm to keep pets away from the pool. Some alarms are wall- or fence-mounted, so they sound if the gate opens. Other alarms are pool mounted, alerting you if the water surface is disturbed by children or pets falling in. You can even find some alarms with wristbands that you can attach to your pet’s collar. If the band is immersed in the water, the alarm goes off. 

How to prepare your pets for pool exposure

Help your pets learn to swim

If your pets are willing, it’s always a good idea to give them a few swimming lessons. Dogs are often natural swimmers, so they usually learn to swim easily. However, while the “dog paddle” is a natural motion, dogs tend to panic in the water, tiring themselves out and putting themselves at risk. 

If you help your dog to practice swimming, it will be less likely to get scared if it falls into the water. For the best results, get in the water with your pets when teaching them to swim. Dogs instinctively know to move their front paws, so support your dog’s backside until it learns how to move its back legs properly. Encourage your pet to swim short distances, so it gets used to moving calmly through the water. 

Make sure your pets can find pool exits

In addition to teaching your pets to swim, it’s crucial to ensure that they know where the pool’s exits are. That way, if your pets fall into the water, they’ll understand how to get out of the pool safely. Teach your pets to swim to the pool’s steps or ladder, and show them how to get out. Because dogs, cats and other small animals have nails, it’s trickier for them to climb out of the pool, so practice always helps. 

To make it easier for your pets to get out of the water, you may even want to invest in a dog ramp for your pool. It has a nonslip surface and doesn’t require your pet to lift its paws too high, so your dog can get out of the water without sliding or falling. 

Buy proper safety equipment for your pets

If your pets are going to spend time around the pool, you want to make sure they’re protected. You can find plenty of dog life jackets to help a dog float if it falls in the water. While you usually can’t find any life vests specifically for cats, you may be able to find a jacket for a small dog that fits your cat. 

A life jacket can keep your pet safe if it’s running around the pool while family and friends are in the water. If it slips on the pool deck and winds up in the water, your pet is less likely to panic if it has a vest to keep them afloat. 

Learn animal CPR

If the worst happens, you should know how to help your furry friend in the event of a pool accident. Acting quickly makes all the difference, so knowing animal cardiopulmonary resuscitation can save your pet’s life. Check to see if there are any pet first-aid classes in your area, or ask your veterinarian to recommend a CPR course or resource to help you learn.

It’s also essential to know a local emergency vet where you can bring your pet if there’s an accident around the pool. Since accidents often occur during weekends and other off-hours, your regular vet may not be available. 


Q. Will my pet get sick if it drinks pool water?

A. Chlorine in pool water is a strong chemical that can cause issues for humans and animals alike. However, considering how much water is in the average pool, the chlorine concentration is heavily diluted. Your pet shouldn’t get sick if it drinks a little pool water. Make sure to have clean, fresh water available to your pets, though, so they aren’t tempted to drink more of the pool’s water. 

Q. Can dogs drown?

A. Despite many breeds being natural swimmers, your dog can drown in a pool. Many pups panic if they fall into the water and aren’t used to swimming, tiring themselves out until they can no longer keep their heads above water. That’s why it’s so important to only allow your dog around the pool when supervised and help them get used to the water if they do take an accidental dip. 

What you need to buy for pet pool safety

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

This durable 1080p HD security camera is ideal for keeping an eye on your pet around the pool. It is motion-activated and sends alerts right to your phone when it detects any activity. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Lifebuoy Pool Alarm System

This highly sensitive pool alarm sets off an extremely loud alert if your pet falls in the water. It comes with a connected Bluetooth app that lets you adjust its sensitivity and siren strength. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

SPQ YardGard Gate Alarm

This gate alarm lets you know as soon as your furry friend gets beyond the pool fence. It’s water-resistant and easy to install, and it emits a particularly loud siren. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Life Saver DIY Pool Fence

This DIY fence makes it easy to protect children and pets from accidental falls into the water. It features tension-based support and stands at a height of 4 feet to serve as an effective barrier. The set includes a 12-foot section of fencing too.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

POP Dog on Water Ramp

This inflatable water ramp allows your dog to get in and out of the pool with ease. It holds up to 200 pounds and can be used for a pool, boat or dock. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Outward Hound Granby Dog Life Jacket

With foam panels for extra flotation, this dog life jacket can keep your pet safe around the pool or at the beach. It has dual grab handles, so you can quickly rescue a pet that falls into the pool. It also has a secure neck float to make sure your dog’s head stays above water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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