Believe it or not, sometimes pets love the water as much as people do! Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to drowning. In today’s blog, let’s explore some pet drowning danger tips to help keep your furry friends out of harm’s way.
Swimming Safety and Pet Drowning Danger
First and foremost, there’s a common myth that all dogs know how to swim. This is not quite true. Some dogs have a natural instinct to, well, dog paddle. On the other hand, certain breeds, such as bulldogs or pugs, are not so lucky. They do not have the necessary skills to survive in the water.
To a similar end, don’t assume your cat will naturally avoid the water. There is always a chance one of your beloved pets might fall or even purposely jump into the water. It pays to be prepared.
To many pet owners’ surprise, there are actually swimming lessons that pets can take. We wrote an entire post about dogs, swimming lessons and safety. Take a look to learn more about this topic.
Sometimes Pets Can’t Climb Out
Even if they know how to swim, some pets may not be able to escape the water. In some cases, the animal may have confidently dove in, but are now having trouble finding the stairs or climbing out. It is estimated that thousands of family pets drown in their own backyards each year.
Above all, accidents can and do happen. This is especially dangerous at night, when your pet might not be able to see available exits clearly. Even worse, older pets can have more trouble than expected. For example, older or sick dogs with certain medical conditions can be at greater risk.
To help solve this pet drowning danger issue, try installing a pet ramp. The goal here isn’t to encourage your pet to enter the water, but to provide a clear and safe exit in case they do end up in the pool. Be sure to walk them up and down the ramp several times, just to make sure they recognize the ramp’s purpose.
If the worst happens and you see your pet drowning, it’s time to spring into action. Now, these tactics are similar, but slightly different than rescuing a drowning person.
To start, try to lift your furry friend out of the water from the hind legs. This will help clear water that may have entered the lungs.
Once your pet is safely out of the water, lay her on her side. Now, check for breathing and a heartbeat. If you can’t see any signs of life, it may be time for CPR. That’s right, CPR works on animals as well as humans. For this reason, it’s always important for as many people as possible to receive CPR training. It can save a life – maybe even your pet’s life.
Above all, treat this situation as a medical emergency. Get your pet out of the water as quickly as possible and to a veterinarian. In all forms of drowning danger, time is critical.
Install a Secure Pool Fence and a Self-Closing Gate
A properly installed pet pool safety fence is an incredibly important step for ensuring water safety. It should be tall enough that your pets to not be able to scale it, but also strong enough to resist pushing and pulling in case they try to.
Beyond the fence, install a self-closing gate. This type of gate automatically shuts behind you, locking off the water area. Both the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Academy of Pediatrics recommend a self-latching, self-closing pool gate to help prevent drowning hazards.
To learn more, read our detailed article about protecting your dog with a pool fence. Pet drowning danger is a serious threat. Be sure you’re using multiple layers of security. It never pays to put all your eggs in one basket.