A: It's up to you to decide if your dog should swim in your pool (never in a community pool!). Many dogs like to swim, it's a great form of exercise and will help keep him cool during the hot summer months.
It is up to you to keep your dog safe in pool, too.
If your dog loves the water and sometimes jumps into the pool, make sure he knows how to get out safely. It is important to
teach your dog where and how to get out of the pool, regardless of where he
To teach a dog how to get out of the pool, first attach a
leash to his collar. Guide your dog into the pool using the steps. The
dog will instinctively turn around and get out from the point of entry--the
steps. Continue to walk your dog into the pool from the steps several times. Once he realizes
that he can scramble out via the steps, have him jump into the pool from the other sides, and use the leash to guide him
to the step area. Don't pull, just gently guide.
It may take awhile for your dog to orient himself to the steps in relation to the house, and to understand how to use the steps to exit the pool. Once he consistently uses the stairs, the danger of him drowning
in the pool will be reduced. Practice as much as possible with your dog,
especially with puppies. Don't let your dog get exhausted. He'll need a towel and shady place to rest after a swim, just like you do!
Keep an eye on your dog because swimming
can be very tiring for a dog. Just like many dogs will chase a ball or Frisbee
again and again until they nearly collapse, many dogs will continue swimming
without any thought as to how tired they are. And unlike chasing a ball on
land, they have no solid ground on which to rest.
Remember that some - not all - dogs enjoy swimming. If your dog is reluctant or afraid of the water, don't force him into the pool. Make sure he has plenty of fresh cool water to drink, and consider providing a sprinkler or kiddie wading pool as an alternative to the family pool. Many a dog enjoys a romp through a sprinkler or will happily lie down in shallow water as a way to get through the dog days of summer.