Pool Safety for Dogs

Pool Safety for Dogs

Summer is officially here! Many people like to head for the pool to cool off on those sweltering summer days. Man’s Best Friend often also enjoys taking a dip. Just be sure to put Fido’s safety first: pools can be very dangerous for dogs! In this article from River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Natrona Heights, PA area, a local veterinarian discusses pool safety for dogs.

Swimming Lessons

While some dogs are natural swimmers, this isn’t always the case. If Fido can’t swim, give him some doggy swimming lessons. Get into the water with your furry pal, and gently support him until he gets the hang of it.


Try not to let Fido drink from the pool. Chlorine and other pool chemicals are not good for our canine friends!

Paw Care

Dogs’ paw pads become very delicate when they’re wet. Fido can get painful blisters by running on hard surfaces after he’s been swimming. Keep your pooch on grass or dirt when he gets out of the pool, and use paw wax to protect those furry feet.


Make sure Fido knows where the pool stairs are. This is crucial! If your dog doesn’t know how to get out of the pool, he could get into serious trouble if he ever falls in accidentally. Don’t just show him once: test him a bit, to make sure he remembers. It’s not a bad idea to mark the exit with a visible landmark, such as a potted tree.

Fur/Skin Care

Did you know that dogs can get sunburned? Ask your vet for advice on using sunscreen on Fido. Also, rinse your pooch off when he gets out of the water, to get the chemicals out of his fur.

Basic Precautions

Never leave Fido at the pool unsupervised. Even dogs that are great swimmers can get into trouble if they fall in and panic. Senior pooches, puppies, brachycephalic dogs, and pets with mobility issues or vision problems are especially at risk. We recommend fencing off your pool, just to be on the safe side. This is especially important if you use a pool cover, as it’s very easy for dogs to mistake that cover for a solid surface, and hop onto it by mistake.

Please contact River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel, PA area, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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