Mark Silburman DVM
Southwest Animal Clinic, Bellaire, TX
More than Five Thousand pets drown needlessly each year, and MOST of these deaths are preventable. Although most dogs and some cats can swim, they tend to tire quickly and will panic if they can’t get their footing. We tell our clients the following:
- For dogs, and some cats, swimming is a natural instinct, but don’t assume your pet can save his own life if he can’t find his way out of a swimming pool.
- Keep a close eye on the aging pet.
- Never throw a dog or cat into the water, as that abrupt shock creates anxiety and long lasting fear of the water. Thus, many pets will never feel comfortable in the water.
- Remove pool covers when pets are around the pool, as the pool cover appears to be solid ground and tends to bait the pet to walk on it, which can become tragic.
- Most important, have them wear a floatation device.
Drowning is preventable. We can’t watch our pets constantly or drown proof their environment, but we can protect them with a floatation device when they are anywhere near water.
Veterinarians will tell you that it is an all too familiar scene.
Jessica Killingsworth-Nantz, DVM
Family pets are at risk for drowning, just as are children. The chance for a pet’s survival in near-drowning events is fair, at the very best. Once the lungs are compromised severely, the likelihood of recovery diminishes. Pets often do not know where and how to exit a pool. In a panic frenzy, the victim will tire easily in his efforts to reach dry land. This often results in fatigue, and, eventually, drowning, if the pet cannot be rescued quickly.