Summer, the swimming pool and our animals

A large number of Quebecers have a swimming pool in their backyard to enjoy the beautiful summer days.

Summer, the swimming pool and our animals

A large number of Quebecers have a swimming pool in their backyard to enjoy the beautiful summer days. A pure happiness ! However, certain precautions are necessary when we have a swimming pool and animals that share our lives, because unfortunately, drownings can occur.

Everyone knows that you must always be vigilant and very careful with children when you have a swimming pool, but despite everything, many child drownings occur every summer. As recently as last Monday, Le Journal again reported three cases.

But what about animals?

Unlike child drownings, animal drownings go relatively unnoticed. The media don't talk about them much, but they still exist.

Drownings in animals are due to three main reasons:

Anyway, when you have an animal and a swimming pool, you have to be just as careful as if you had a child. They represent a real danger.

So here are some basics to think about.

Drowning and Prevention

It is true that dogs and cats know how to swim naturally, but it is wrong to say that there is no danger for them. Your dog or cat may be a good swimmer, but if he doesn't know how to get out of the pool or you're not there, drowning is possible as he will eventually wear himself out.

Constant supervision must be provided when swimming. You know that a few seconds of inattention are enough for a tragedy to occur. Otherwise, offer him a small inflatable pool for children. It will certainly be less dangerous.

As with children, remember to block access to the pool at all times if there is no supervision. There must be a sufficiently high fence around the pool and a well-locked access. Also consider getting a floating alarm system that alerts you to the slightest disturbance in the water.

Moreover, if your dog is attracted to water and you decide to invite him into the pool from time to time, you absolutely must teach him where the exit is and how to use it.

Use treats to lure him out. Train him to come out of the pool easily. For above-ground pools with a ladder, consider adding a ramp to facilitate the exit of animals in the event of an accident. It is clear that a staircase or an access ramp will be more suitable for animals than a ladder.

For surface canvases (solar canvas) or protective covers for the swimming pool, it is a good thing to think about. Be aware that even if it is tight, if your pet decides to venture there, it could give way under its weight or even prevent it from coming out of the water. It's been seen before...

Finally, bathing is not recommended in epileptic dogs who may have an unpredictable convulsion. If your dog insists, never mind, know that there are individual life jackets suitable for dogs!

Here's another precaution: watch out for dog toys that float in the pool. Your pup might want to pick them up without you. Make sure you put everything away after swimming is over...

What to do in case of drowning?

If your animal is the victim of a near drowning, get it out of the water as quickly as possible, obviously taking the necessary precautions for your personal safety.

Contrary to what sometimes circulates on the internet, the animal should not be suspended upside down by holding it by the legs.

If he's breathing, dry him well and keep him in a dry towel to keep him warm. Warm it up if the water was cold.

Consult your veterinarian immediately. This is an emergency and complications could still arise. On the way, keep the animal warm and make sure it breathes properly. Respiratory distress is one of the main complications of drowning.

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