It is well-known that dogs are a man’s best friend, with this bond between our two species spanning millennia and in the height of Perth’s sweltering summers, it is not just humans who feel the heat. Battling through the scorching sun beneath a coat of fur, your pets will arguably be more effected than you by those hot days – so throw a dog a bone and embrace a pet-friendly pool. Here, Emma Warner Allen dives into the world of dog-friendly swimming pools and offers guidance on how you can make sure your pool is fit for the whole family.
Humans have a long-standing history of finding and implementing holistic practices. Our society is currently undergoing a paradigm shift regarding our treatment of dogs, and as society and technology continue to evolve, we are adopting a more universal approach to our animals’ wellbeing. There is a reason why the term ‘fur-baby’ has snuck into the general vernacular of the population in recent years: from doggy day care centres to specialised groomers, we are embracing more alternative practices to ensure our pets are in the best possible health and condition – essentially treating our furry friends as not just pets, but as part of the family.
The safety of your loved ones is paramount and, as with small children, consideration should always be given to the hazards and risks at play – particularly around water. Most pools are kept clean and pristine through some sort of cleaning method with the most popular choices of sanitisation involving, chlorine, salt water, or a mineral system. Luckily, all these methods are proven safe for dogs when properly maintained. Chlorine is renowned for being harsh on your skin, however, when kept at the appropriate levels it is perfectly safe for your pets. Though if your dog suffers from any skin conditions use your better judgement before taking the plunge.
Having said that, ingesting an excess of water from any of these systems can be toxic to your beloved furry friend, so if you see them guzzling down water like you would after a night of heavy drinking be sure to stop them and redirect them to clean water. With that said, it’s not cause for panic if your pet swallows a bit of water, as this is only natural when having fun in the pool and will not be harmful to your pampered pooch. It’s also best to be aware of the symptoms that may present if their dog is feeling unwell – these include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, stumbling, excessive thirst or urinations, tremors, and seizures. If your dog does experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary treatment. As a preventative measure, ensure that your dog is hydrated and has ample clean water available poolside.
Ramp Things Up
Before your furry friend can enjoy a dip into cooling waters, you must ensure that there are safe access points for your animals to not only get into the water, but more importantly, make their getaway safely. Any pools with ladders obviously pose a problem, unless of course your dog is like the golden retriever that went viral for climbing up a ladder onto the homeowners’ roof. But even so, after an exuberant effort in the swimming pool your pets will be tired, so it is best that they have a safe egress from the pool. Those with steps are preferable, though a beach entry swimming pool – an area of the pool that descends on an angle gradually into the deeper waters – is the gold standard, acting as the perfect way for your pet to come and go as they wish.
A Material World
While our dog’s unfaltering loyalty and dedication to us are part of their loveable charm, if you have ever decided to go for a nice relaxing swim to unwind and forget about the day’s rigours only to be physically assaulted by your dog’s attempts to save you from drowning, you will know just how sharp their claws can be. While some dogs can look as graceful as a swan gliding across the water, others can look as uncoordinated as a baby giraffe on an ice rink as they desperately doggy paddle through the water – soaking anyone in their path. That scrabbling means that your precious fur baby can end up ripping the pool’s lining.
Keep It Clean
While your dog may have already indicated its low standards for a body of water by bathing in muddy puddles, you should ensure that your swimming pool remains a safe and desirable amenity for all family members to use. It is highly likely that your animals will be hairier than you are and with that comes the added responsibility of ensuring your pool remains clean and hygienic. To guarantee this, frequently clean your pool’s filter and rid your pool of any detritus and debris either manually or with a pool cleaner after each use.
Most dogs are not renowned for their composed manner, and nothing brings pet owners more joy than seeing their animal wound up and enjoying themselves by zooming about the place. As your pooch will associate the swimming pool with playtime, it is so
important to install a proper cover which will help keep the pool clean and your pets out when it is not in use. A safety cover that can support the weight of someone on it is the recommended pool cover rather than a floating cover to prevent any tragic accidents.
Overall, if you are thinking of allowing your beloved furry family member into your pool, taking the aforementioned points into consideration will stand you in good stead to make lots of fun-filled memories that are safe for you and your pets. Whether you have an existing pool or are seeking to install a brand-new oasis, there are many easy ways to make sure that you and your family can enjoy this aquatic playground from the convenience of your backyard.