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Dog Pool Safety

Sales of our WAG Boarding Steps ™ Model PM-6 for in-ground pools and Model XPM-6 for above-ground pools continue to grow and we often hear from customers that their dog pool ladder was the best money they have spent on their pool.

That said, we still hear stories about dogs that have learned to climb the human swim ladder and YouTube is full of videos apparently posted by owners who think this makes their dog special.  This may be cute, but not smart.  Swim ladders are steep and do not have an integral toe plate to prevent the dog from slipping off the back side of the rung.  Injuries or early joint problems are bound to happen if you let your dog use the human swim ladder.

There are some other safety precautions you should take relative to dog pool safety.

  • If your dog is a senior, overweight or generally sedentary, check with your veterinarian first before allowing them to swim.  A personal floatation device may be a good safety measure.
  • No dog should be given unsupervised access to a backyard pool.  Even if a pool cover is on, many dogs have lost their lives following an unexpected tumble into a covered pool.  The cover is disorienting and it’s almost always impossible for a dog to find his way out.
  • Obedience training is extremely important.  Your dog should wait at the edge of the pool until given permission to enter.  Your dog should come when called, even when swimming.
  • Keep safety floatation devices attached to a line nearby for emergency use.  
  • Avoid letting your dog drink pool water.  Always keep an ample supply of fresh water around so your dog can drink without attempting to drink from the pool.  
  • Rinse your dog off after being in the pool to get chlorine and other pool chemicals off their coat and skin.  Dry areas where water can collect (e.g., ears, groin, armpits) to avoid moisture-induced infections.

Above all, use common sense.  Most dogs love the water, but do not spend a lot of time thinking about safety.  They are counting on you for that.