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Pool Safety

June 1st, 2006, 10:03 AM
So as I have mentioned in a previous thread, DH and I are looking for a new house. We recently found one that seems to have all the things we are looking for. And as a nice bonus it has a pool in the nice sized backyard.

So this raised some questions/concerns for us. Since my guys have never been around a pool, like etc. our first priority is to ensure they are safe.

We were looking at those pool covers that are retractable but are hard and sit flush with the pool deck. They can sustain the weight should a child (dog in our case) walk on it. I also was looking at those pool alarms that go off if something falls in.

We are typically outside in the yard when they are and they are never left outside when we are away.

I'm not trying to be a nut but they have never been "swimming" and I certainly don't want a tragedy if one of them should fall in and panic.

Any suggestions/comments would be appreciated.

June 1st, 2006, 11:25 AM
I think the hard covers are a great idea, as is the alarm (although that might get annoying if it goes off every time a leaf or something falls in). There is also another alarm type product for children you might consider. The alarm sensor is on the child/dog as either a wristband or a small badge that would easily attach to a collar (it's meant to attach to the back of a child's clothing or swim suit where they can't reach it). The main unit is in the house, I think, but maybe it's like a baby monitor? If the sensor goes in the pool, the alarm sounds in the house. Just an idea- I have no idea of the cost.

doggy lover
June 1st, 2006, 11:32 AM
They are good ideas, how about if you have a ramp or stairs that they can get out of the pool if they fall in, they would have to be larger and nonslip. My BMDX (RIP) would only ever go up to his chest in water, didn't like swimming, once he fell in our pond and the look on his face was priceless I laughed at him and boy was he mad. Now Tucker you can't keep out of the water and he loves just to jump in and go for a swim.

June 1st, 2006, 12:00 PM
Perhaps a fence of some type around the pool? or ummm, OOOH doggy life jackets!!! Im still hooked on the fact that there is such a thing and they are used!!! I think its a great idea!!!!
But best bet, try them with the swimming thing and the stairs or ramp to get out if they do fall in, is prolly the cheapest answer.

June 1st, 2006, 10:16 PM
I'd say you don't need anything... teach them how to get out (our pool has large stairs they can climb but if you have only a ladder, a ramp is a great idea). Dogs usually have good swimming instincts. One of my dogs loves the pool and the other is intrigued by it but hasn't gone in herself. She has fallen in and since we showed her where the stairs are, she was fine. If you have a pool cover (not the firm ones) be extra careful though because they could get trapped under it if they fall.

June 2nd, 2006, 08:43 AM
If you get a ramp or have stairs.. take some time to get in the pool and lead them to the ramp/ stairs. If they fall in and panic, and haven't been taught where the 'exit' is it may be a terrible experience.

Our pool is aboveground - no deck, so it's never been an issue.. we went to a friend's pool party (Cider was invited to go too) and they have a giant above ground with deck. Cider never got too close. She was smart enough to be a little wary, but she's not a huge water dog..

You might find your guys like water enough that they take a leap because they like it. :p

I also like the sensors that have the child wristband myself.

June 2nd, 2006, 07:35 PM

This is the one I was thinking of-the Safety Turtle. Apparently, there is a version for pets that Petsmart sells. Cool! is the link for the pet version-it attaches right to the collar.

Ouch! I looked at the order form on the site-$195 for the base station and $90 per sensor. More than I thought, but worth thinking about. is the picture from Petsmart of what it looks like. Seems like their price might be a bit lower.

June 3rd, 2006, 12:17 PM
The pool cover is one of the biggest dangers, many dogs have drown running across because they spotted some small furry on the other side of a pool

We were looking at those pool covers that are retractable but are hard and sit flush with the pool deck. They can sustain the weight should a child (dog in our case) walk on it. What happens in the winter when snow builds up on? hopefully someone can anwer this as I have no idea.

Make sure each dog can swim, some dog are natural sinkers I had a cocker spaniel who loved the water but could not swim, if he got into water too deep he would simply sink under, I ended up putting a life jacket on him anytime I was near a body of water, it sure beated jumping in fully dressed in cold water to save him.

It is advisable to actually take your dog into the pool a few times to teach them the place to get out and you also get a first hand view to see if they can manage

June 3rd, 2006, 01:25 PM
This is a warning for owners of really fluffy dogs. Years ago a friend of mine had a black pomeranian that had thick, long, fluffy hair. That was the only dog I have ever known that could NOT swim. His hair would become saturated and the weight would literally cause him to flip backward (like being in a recliner) and drag him down. They had another pomeranian with a thinner coat that had no problems. Don't assume that all dogs can dog-paddle.

June 3rd, 2006, 09:14 PM
I think I would avoid the cover, as it might give them a false sense of security. I really like the ramp idea, and take the time to show them what the pool is and how to get out. We had taught Mom's golden to climb a ladder to get in and out of the pool, but not all dogs can do that. The alarm idea is good, a little pricey but its probably only a one time cost so it would be worth it.

Life jackets are great, but you don't want to have to put one on the dog every time it goes out. That said, they work beautifully though. I have one for Charley, a pomeranian shih tzu mix, and last week-end we went white water canoeing and brought him. Unfortunantly, we dumped the canoe and he got caught under it. It took about a minute or so for me to get re-oriented and get him out from under it, but other than being wet and slightly freaked out, he was fine. Given the current and the cold water, i don't think that would have been the case without the life jacket.