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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Safety

Swimming pool safety tips for pet owners

Just over half of pet owners have backyard pools, which makes their dogs and cats vulnerable to drowning, experts say.

According to Gamma 2, a maker of products designed to keep pets safe, the odds of a pet drowning in the United States are 1 in 1,028.

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Some pet owners train their dog to swim to the pool steps to get out of the water, Gamma 2 states. This can work well in daylight, but at night or if stressed, a dog is likely to panic and forget its landmark. Animals cannot see the steps because they are under the water.

Pia Vogel, an official with HomeSource, a homeowner advocacy in Sydney, Australia, says the main danger for a pet is that it will be unable to get out of a pool, become exhausted trying to stay afloat and drown. "To avoid tragedy, you just need to think ahead and take every precaution necessary," Ms. Vogel states in a media release.

Here are some tips offered by HomeSource to avoid a swimming pool tragedy:
  • Install a pool alarm system designed for pets. These systems usually have a base station and a sensor that attaches to a pet’s collar. If the pet falls or ventures into the water, the sensor sends a radio signal to the base station. This sounds ane alarm to alert the owner.
  • Install a water escape ramp that will give a pet an easy way to get out of the pool. 
Related reports:
  •  Install a pool fence to keep pets away from the pool.

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