dog pool water safety in NZ is a must for summer

Your Guide to Dog Pool Safety this Summer


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Water safety in NZ is a top priority for all of us, especially as temperatures rise for the summer months. Dog pool safety in particular is important for dog mums and dads – just like it would be for our human kids.

Many of us send our human kids to swimming lessons, buy them pool safety gear and keep a watchful eye. Dogs often get away with far less supervision for various reasons. Perhaps we rely on them being able to swim because they’re known to dog paddle and they learn to walk on their own. So….

Nope, for their own safety it’s best not to assume they’ll be naturally equipped with swimming skills. The fact remains that dogs can drown. This video of a Staffordshire terrier rescuing a Pomeranian ends well but ideally we humans will safeguard our best friends in advance. More on this below.

Train your dog to use the pool steps

Notice something about the video you just watched? The little Pom fell in by the steps but swam away and couldn’t find them again. Training a dog to use the pool steps gives them a safe way in and, more importantly, it gives them the way out again.

The key to success

This is a great reason to get your dog familiar with the pool under your supervision. Lead your dog into the pool via the steps and out again. Do this many times over several days. Always be there to guide them to the steps until they learn that’s the way in and the way out.

Then give them a refresher course every summer.

How tos

Besides entering and exiting the pool, help your pup leave the steps and swim around then go back to the steps again. It’s fine whether you carry your dog or encourage them to swim to you. The pattern of entering and exiting the pool via the steps and moving them into the water and back again is what you’re teaching your paw pal.

Even though most dogs can intuitively doggy paddle, getting out of the pool without using the steps can be near impossible. Even a dog that swims well can get tired if they can’t find the way out, then they could end up going under.

Training your dog to use the pool steps can mean the difference between a casual dip and drowning.

always supervise your dog by the pool

6 steps to water safety for your NZ dog

Dogs sweat through their paw pads, which isn’t enough to keep them cool. It’s why you’ll see them panting on a hot day. A dip in a dog pool can be a simple way to help them cool down, provided you have all the checks in place.

Here are six water safety tips for your NZ pet:

  1. Provide a dog pool ramp or portable steps for pools without steps (and train pup to use these well)
  2. Give dogs swimming jackets / dog flotation devices (especially brachycephalic breeds that can’t swim well)
  3. Keep an eye on your pet – things can’t go wrong if you’re watching over them closely
  4. Keep your pool fenced off with a dog pool fence when you can’t supervise (doubles for child safety too)
  5. A well balanced salt or chlorine pool is fine for dipping, but not for drinking
  6. Don’t leave dogs unattended around soft pool covers

On that last point, unless the pool cover is sturdy and can hold their weight dogs can fall in and get stuck under. This will make it almost impossible for them to escape drowning.

Besides a dog pool, a pet cooling mat is another great way to keep pets cool. But if you’re thinking of giving them a haircut to beat the heat, think again. Read ‘can I shave my dog‘ to see why that may not be advisable.

water safety in NZ for dogs includes rivers and lakes

Dog water safety beyond the pool to the beach

Besides taking your dog to a pooch friendly pool, another hot spot for water safety in NZ is dog friendly beaches. Not only must you safeguard your dog but coastal wildlife needs your protection too.

PD Insurance and the Department of Conservation have joined forces to help protect Kiwi wildlife in a way that’s good for our dogs too. Read about how we’re doing this with Lead the Way Auckland and how you can become wildlife wise with this quiz.

And because we love getting sand in our toes and spending time at the beach with our dogs… We’ve compiled a guide to some of the best dog friendly beaches in New Zealand.

Rivers and lakes

Another place for water safety in NZ for dogs is around lakes and rivers. These bodies of water can be deeper (or shallower) than they appear. Fast flowing water and moving currents can pose an added hazard to dogs. These bodies of water may also offer up lots of poisonous, dead or rotting things that dogs might accidentally ingest.

Find out how to avoid these dangers with tips on pet safety at the beach, river and lake.

dog pool safety is NB in the summer months

Beware dry drowning

Drowning is often associated with water, but dry drowning or secondary drowning can happen hours or days later. If a dog breathes in too much water they can start to experience breathing difficulties long after they’re out of the water.

Symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, drooling, lethargy and more.

If you suspect your dog has taken in too much water in the pool consider a vet visit right away.

Award winning pet insurance for further protection

Dogs are lively, passionate creatures that can get into a whole heap of trouble just exploring the world around them. Thankfully you can safeguard them with dog insurance. Having a pet plan means peace of mind you’ve got your pet’s back and you can get them medical care for unexpected incidents and illnesses.

PD Insurance gives you one or months of FREE pet insurance when you buy online. Click below to get a quote today.

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