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Pool Safety For Dogs

June 1, 2023

Does your canine pal love swimming? Dogs’ opinions about the water are as widely varied as people’s are. Some pooches absolutely love the water, and will happily spend hours swimming, splashing, and diving. Others hate even getting their paws wet. No matter what end of that spectrum your furry buddy falls under, if you have a pool, you’ll need to keep Fido’s safety in mind. A Hyattsville, MD vet offers some tips on that below.

Swim Lessons

If your pooch can’t swim, it’s a good idea to teach him. Choose a place with a shallow incline, so he can gradually move into deeper water. At first, support Fido as he’s learning. Encourage him with praise. (Save the treats for later, when your furry pal has all four paws on the ground.) Keep in mind that not all pups are well-suited for swimming. Ask your vet for advice before proceeding.

This Way Out

If Fido is new to your home and/or you’ve just had a pool installed, take time to teach him where the pool exit is. You’ll want to test him on this a bit, to make sure he’s really going to remember. Go to the opposite side of the pool from where the steps are, and call him to you. You may also want to get a doggy ladder, which you can put into the deep end or use on above-ground pools.


Pools can be very dangerous for dogs, even those that swim well. When it comes to safety, rule number one is to never leave Fido near water unattended. Ideally, your pool should be gated or otherwise blocked off when not in use.


This one may be easier said than done, but try not to let your canine buddy drink chlorinated, or, if you’re at a beach, salt water. Make sure Fido always has plenty of fresh H20!

Safety Gear

If Fido can’t swim well—or at all—get him a doggy lifejacket to wear at the pool. This is also a must if you ever want to take him boating.

Paw Care

Your canine companion’s cute toe beans will be quite delicate after he’s been swimming. Keep Fido on soft ground after he gets out of the water. Otherwise, he could get painful burns and blisters.

As your local Hyattsville, MD pet clinic, we are always happy to help! Contact us anytime!

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