It’s not just the humans in the family who love to swim, the family dogs love it too! How can you have fun in the pool with your dogs?

First, you need to know whether your dog will want to be in the swimming pool. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs love to swim and not all dogs can swim. There are some breeds, like Bulldogs, who should never be in water that is above their bellies; they will sink like a stone.

Second, you need to protect your dog from drowning. Even if your dog loves to be in the swimming pool, he may get tired and if you’re not paying attention, he could drown. Put your dog — even the dog who loves the water — in a life vest. These don’t restrict your dog’s movement and they do help keep him safe when he’s in the pool.

Third, you will want to let your pool contractor know that Fido and Fluffy will be joining you in the swimming pool. Why? Because your dogs will bring in dirt, bacteria, debris and even feces in their fur into the pool water. Having your dogs in the pool could lead to changes in the water chemistry. If your pool contractor knows your dogs are in the pool he can make adjustments accordingly.

Have Fun In The Pool With Your Dogs

If you want to swim with your pups, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Have a way out. Your dog may very easily jump from the deck into the pool, but how will he get out? If your swimming pool has a ladder with rungs, your dog won’t be able to climb that. If your swimming pool has a beach entry or in pool steps, he may be able to simply run up those and get out. You may want to consider having a ramp that your dog can use to get out of the water.

Remember, even if you have a ramp or beach entry, you will want to show your dog and train him thoroughly as to how to get out of the pool. You may want to tie a ribbon or use some other type of “marker” that your dog will see that will alert him to “this is the way out.”

Buy a life vest. We’d mentioned this above, but it bears repeating. Your dog, even the best and strongest swimmer, should always wear a life vest.

Clean your pup. You may want to brush your dog or even hose him off before he gets into the family swimming pool. Brushing and rinsing him off will loosen any debris from his fur that could get into the water.

After your pup is done swimming, you will want to rinse him to get any chemicals and chlorine from his fur and off of his delicate skin.

Pick up toys. Even though you will close and lock the pool safety fence when you’re done swimming you will also want to pick up any toys that are in the swimming pool. If your dog is toy and ball motivated, he may see his ball bouncing along in the water and may find a way to get into the pool and try to grab it. Make sure you remove all items that may lure him in and keep him safe.

Doggie sunscreen. Yes, there is doggie sunscreen on the market. If you have a short hair dog or a white dog you definitely want to slather him or her with sunscreen to protect his delicate skin. The ears and noses of all dogs needs to be protected, too. Dogs can develop skin cancer just as humans can. Keep your dogs in the shade when they’re not swimming.

For dogs who don’t want to swim. You may have a senior dog or a dog breed that shouldn’t swim or a dog who just doesn’t want to get into the famliy pool. If that’s the case, they may still enjoy time in a kiddie pool that is alongside the family pool.

Your dog will want to be with you and be in the midst of the fun, even though he may not want to be in the pool with you. Many dogs do enjoy wading in a kiddie pool. They are inexpensive and if the dogs don’t want to use it, maybe the young children will. You can even turn the kiddie pool into a sandbox for the children — just make sure it is not near the edge of the pool.

Will your dogs be joining you in the pool? Enjoy your time with them, safely!

Let your pool contractor know the pups will be joining you!