Let us help you with a few tips on handling your new pet safely, regardless of having an in-ground pool.
Some dogs, such as retrievers or poodles, are excellent swimmers and belong to the hunting dog family. However, these dogs – especially retrievers – can leave a lot of hair behind, a big problem for filters.
It is best to check the skimmer more often when the pup goes swimming. Other breeds such as pug, corgi, or bulldog are water-shy, so do not expect them to be good swimmers. It is best to invest in a dog life jacket and learn CPR for dogs.
You can’t wait to hop in the pool with your new four-legged friend, but it is not the best and safest way to teach the dog to swim.
The first skill is how to get out of the pool. Despite if the dog is of a natural swimming breed, a swimming pool is a new, foreign environment for the pet, and it needs to know how to leave the water on its own if necessary. Carry your pet into the water and help doggy-paddle to the nearest exit. Continue the process until your pet is comfortable and able to find the door independently. It would be best to move further away from the exit with each repetition.
As a pool owner, you need to balance the pool chemistry to ensure a clean pool and a healthy swimming experience. But when you have a new dog in the house, you may want to understand better what’s in the water.
For example, you may ask if it is safe for the dog to drink the water, right? In general, chlorinated pool water is safe for dogs. The chlorine dilutes significantly in the pool, so it is unlikely to be enough to cause more than a mild stomachache in a dog. However, you should ensure to store chlorine tablets or chlorine liquid in a safe place, unreachable of pets or children.
Remember that chlorine can irritate some people and animals with sensitive skin or eyes. Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming and watch for signs of skin irritation. If this is a problem, ask your pool expert about chlorine-free disinfectants such as bromine or an ionizer is a better option, although this may be more expensive.
You should also look for signs if your dog suffers from an ear infection after swimming. Water can get trapped in the irregularly shaped ear canals, leading to bacterial growth and infection. Although it is not directly related to pool chemicals, it is a common issue for dogs that spend time in the pool. If your pet swims a lot, clean the ears regularly with a cleanser and dry them after swimming.
Safety is the first thing you should have in mind, especially if pets and children live at home. The first few months are critical, especially with a new dog or a new pool.
If that is the case, request your pool designer to include a rest area shallow enough for pets, and people, to sit comfortably in the water. Since it will be an in-ground pool, request a pool safety fence to protect pets and children when no one is around to watch. It is best to buy a sturdy fence, not able to be squeezed through (especially if he has a small dog), and with a sturdy latch that a curious puppy’s snout cannot break.
With the pool area safety barrier, you can confidently let your new best friend run around the garden unsupervised.
And don’t forget, as, with any training, it is essential to give lots of praise with a treat, and lots of love. Doing this will help your dog to look forward to the next time he gets to spend time in the water.