Some dogs can't stay away from water. Certain breeds -- such as cockers and labradors -- are excellent swimmers and will take every opportunity they can get to jump into the water. Unfortunately, leaving your above-ground pool unattended could lead to trouble, especially if Rover cannot easily get out of the water after jumping in and having fun.
Tip #1 - Cover the pool using a tied-down tarp. Make sure the cover is secured so Rover can't slip under it. Or use a rigid pool cover, especially if you have an agile dog who might find a way up. A rigid cover won't cave in under Rover's weight, so there's no risk of him falling in the pool.
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Tip #2 - Remove any steps or surfaces that would allow Rover to climb up and into the pool. A vertical ladder attached to the side of the pool is the best option if you want to keep Rover out -- unless you have an acrobat dog who can magically climb up on vertical surfaces. Of course, this only works if the pool is tall enough that he can't simply jump in.
Tip #3 - Build a fence around the pool to keep Doggie away. This is the safest and most effective measure you can take. Just make sure the fence is tall enough that Doggie can't jump over. Some small dogs, like Jack Russells and cocker spaniels, are great jumpers, so don't be deceived by their short stature. If you have a dog who likes to dig, make sure he can't dig a tunnel under the fence -- you might need to bury chicken wire or set an underground fence to prevent it.
Tip #4 - Make sure the gate on the pool fence latches securely. Even better, install a gate alarm. This will alert you if the gate is open or shaken, as in the case of Rover jumping on it and trying to get through.
Warning: Don't leave your dog unattended in the yard for long periods of time. If he's alone and bored, chances are he'll get into trouble. You don't want Doggie falling into the pool when you're not looking -- even a good swimmer can get into trouble if he gets tired and is not able to get out.
By Tammy Dray
Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue: Dogs, Swimming and Pool Safety
San Bernardino County Animal Care & Control Program: Keep Your Pets Safe Around Water
French Bulldog Rescue Network: Pool Safety
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.