813-920-0303|Fax: 813-666-4200

Hospital Hours:

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Wed: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Sun: Closed

dog and cat laying on the grass
Welcome to

Pool Safety for Your Pet

French bulldog dog in sun glassesPool safety for your Pet

Florida is the sunshine state and that means fun in the sun. If you have access to the pool, it’s important to be aware of the hazards. The goal is to enjoy this time with your furry friends while enabling them to have a safe and enjoyable time in the water. Like children, pets should be closely monitored at all times while playing in the water.

The hazards that can cause injury to pets:

  1. ) Heatstroke
  2. ) Dehydration
  3. ) Slipping on wet surfaces that may cause orthopedic injuries
  4. ) Paw burns or abrasions from contact with hot surfaces
  5. ) Drowning
  6. ) Chemical dangers

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Anxiety
  • Panting
  • Dark red gums
  • Dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
  • Lying down and unwilling to get up
  • Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • Increased rectal temperature (over 103 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Brachycephalic breeds (bulldogs, pugs, boxers) are more prone to overheating so be extra cautious with these breeds or mixes.

A cool, wet nose does not always mean they are healthy. If the inside of their ears or the skin on their belly is warm to the touch, you may want to check their temperature. The best way to take your pet’s temperature is to use a rectal thermometer dipped in a pet-safe lubricant. The normal temperature for a cat or dog is between 100 &102.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your pet experiences heatstroke, call us immediately at (813) 920-0303.

Keep a bowl of clean, cool water available at all times. Drinking large quantities of water from the pool, or making pool water the primary source of water, should be discouraged. Encourage your dog to take frequent water breaks when running around.

Paw Pad Burns/Abrasions
Injuries to the paw pads can be very painful for your pet so it is important to be proactive and help prevent them from occurring. Common surfaces that retain heat include pool decks, asphalt pavement, cement, and sand.

Signs of Paw Pad Burns/ Abrasions:

  • Reluctance to move after walking on a hot surface
  • Painful feet and paws when touched
  • Lameness
  • In Severe Cases, bleeding or oozing from the paw pads themselves and/or Peeling/sloughing of the pads to expose the tissue underneath occurs.


  • Try to heck always the surface and If it is hot on your hands or bare feet, it is also too hot for your pet.
  • Try to walk on the grass, or only walk in the mornings or evenings when hot surfaces are cooler and less likely to retain heat.
  • Try to minimize the length of time that your pet walks on hot surfaces and encourage breaks.
  • Try to utilize booties if your pet must be on hot surfaces (make sure your pet will tolerate the booties and not take them off and ingest them)
  • Try to avoid thick creams and lotions that can trap heat in the paw

If your pet experiences Paw Pad Burns/Abrasions, remove your pet from the hot surface, apply a cold (but not icy) compress and call us immediately at (813) 920-0303.

Many dogs love to swim, but some get tired more easily than others. A tired swimmer is at risk of drowning, similar to those who fall into the pool accidentally and panic. Never leave your pet unattended in the water or around the pool. Try to make sure your pet wears a life jacket made specifically for pets. You can also offer a tired pet the option of floating on a raft or mat with you if they prefer not to swim. Always remember to monitor your pet closely so that he/she is not ingesting pool water during a routine swim.

Chemical Dangers

Pools that are not properly maintained may contain algae and higher than normal levels of chlorine or salt. These can irritate your pet’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract.

Chlorine powder and tablets should be stored out of your pet’s reach. Chlorine can be dangerous for your pet if ingested.

After swimming, rinse off your pet with fresh water to remove any chlorine from the skin and fur.

In case your pet experiences an emergency, contact us immediately at (813) 920-0303.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *