Pool Safety for Dogs

There are many things to love about living in Florida. At the top of the list: warm, sunny weather. Unlike our friends and family in the north, we can enjoy swimming almost all year. Many of our canine pals also enjoy swimming! However, you’ll need to take some precautions to keep Fido safe by the pool. A Tampa, FL vet discusses doggy pool safety below.


First things first: never leave Fido unattended near water. Better safe than sorry!

Swimming Lessons

Some dogs are natural swimmers, and need little or no coaching when learning to swim. Others just aren’t cut out for it. In fact, some pups are frightened of the water, while others will just sink like a stone. If Fido can’t swim, take time to teach him. Gently support him, and encourage him with praise. Never throw your pooch into the pool. Even if he figures out the doggy paddle, he may end up with a lifelong fear of water!


It’s extremely important to make sure that Fido knows how to get out of the pool. Even dogs that are great swimmers can quickly panic and get into serious trouble if they fall in and don’t know where the stairs are. Take time with this training, and make sure it really sinks in. You may also want to put a marker near the exit, such as a potted tree or life preserver.

Paw Care

Fido’s paw pads are very sensitive. Just like human skin, they get very soft and delicate when wet. This makes it very easy for dogs to get painful burns and blisters. Use paw balm to protect those furry feet.


Our canine pals can get hot very quickly on scorching summer days. Make sure Fido always has fresh water. Also, try not to let him slurp up pool water. Chlorine and other chemicals are definitely not good for Man’s Best Friend!


Keep pools gated off when they aren’t in use. This goes double for people with senior dogs, puppies, pooches with medical issues, or dogs that can’t swim.


Pool covers are another concern. Sometimes dogs mistake them for solid surfaces, and try to walk on them. This can be extremely dangerous! If you use a cover, use a gate as well.

As your Tampa, FL vet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Please contact us anytime!

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