If you’re like many people you like to include your dog in all — or as much as — you and your family do! We know that means having your family dog in the pool with you. The swimming pool contractors from Tipton Pools in Knoxville, Tennessee have put together a list of 10 ways to keep your dog safe around the pool.

Keep in mind that not all dogs can swim, not all dogs want to swim and not all dogs are built for swimming. Bulldogs, for example, are not built for swimming and should be kept in water that allows them to keep their feet firmly on the ground. Swimming is great exercise for both you and your dog.

10 ways to keep your dog safe around the pool

Keep these safety tips in mind when you and your pup are in the water:

  1. Don’t leave the dog in or around the swimming pool unattended.
  2. Keep your swimming pool surrounded by a safety fence. It’s crucial for the safety of children and pets and it’s probably required by law.
  3. Don’t let your pool deck get cluttered with dog toys. They are temptations. If the toy falls in the pool, then the dog might jump in.
  4. Leaving more than one dog in the pool area unsupervised is a risk. If the dogs get roughhousing one could get knocked into the water.
  5. Become familiar with dog first ait and have the phone numbers of your vet and emergency vet handy.
  6. Teach the dog to swim, and do it enough until the dog doesn’t panic. A dog who flails around in water, and can’t take direction isn’t swimming; it is just beating the water with its paws. Swimming looks different than panic.
  7. Have a visual target for the dog which is near the steps leading out of the water, and get the dog familiar with it and practice having him swimming toward it.
  8. Keep your dog in shape. A dog that isn’t fit can’t swim any better than a human that isn’t in shape. Even if your dog is in shape, you may still want to have her wear a doggie life vest.
  9. Don’t overly exhaust the dog while swimming or they will go under. Know your dog’s capabilities.
  10. Preplan pool construction, especially if you know your dogs will be in the water with you. If you plan to swim with your pups you may want to have in-pool steps rather than a ladder.

If Fifi and Fido want to be with you in the pool — that’s great — just make sure you keep them safe.