Thursday, July 17, 2014

Is Your Pet Safe at the Pool This Summer?

Is Your Pet Safe at the Pool This Summer?
In the summer owning a pool can be a great source of fun for the entire family—even for your pets. It also can be a safety challenge if you are not careful.
Pool safety issues for pets and kids are very similar, and they go far beyond just careful supervision. With children and pets, you can never assume that you can watch them all the time. It only takes a minute of distraction for either one to run out the door and into the pool. In fact, one study showed that in the case of children, supervision failed in 69 percent of the drowning incidents.
With that said, pools can be great fun for your pet. Here are just a few of the issues you should consider:
  • Although many dogs love the water, don't assume they can swim naturally. Never throw a dog into the pool, he may panic and not be able to climb the slick sides to get out of the pool.
  • Even excellent swimmers will gradually lose their ability as they age and become weaker. In addition, senior dogs are more prone to slipping and falling into a pool.
  • Heat and sunlight are more intense around the pool. Your dog cannot keep as cool as you, so watch for signs of overheating. Don't let your dog drink from the pool-- the chlorine can make him sick.
  • You should also be aware that chlorinated water may irritate your dog's eyes. When the two of you are finished playing in the pool, hose your dog down with fresh water to get the chlorine out.    
When designing safety measures, many people find it helpful to think of "layers of protection" to guard against the unforeseen. For instance, when you are away, what's to stop someone else's child or pet from wandering into your backyard pool? The following are a few tips that can avert tragedy:
  • Install a pool fence or barrier. This is your first and best line of defense. The fence should have a self-closing, self-latching gate.  D&D’s TruClose self-closing hinges combined with the MagnaLatch magnetic latch provide the ultimate safety hinge and latch system for your pool gate.
  • Keep doors to the pool securely closed. Many dogs and cats can nose open doors, so make sure there is no gap between the door jam or sliding glass door runner and the door itself.
For your health and the health of your pet, make sure your pool's chemical balance is correct. As any pool owner knows, it takes very little to throw your pool out of balance. Your pet can get sick if he drinks or is exposed to the green algae that inevitably invades your pool now and again.
Be sure to remember these tips and your family and pets will have a fun and safe summer!