More Than Five Thousand Pets Drown Needlessly Each Year.
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 most 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 the water.
- Keep a close eye on the aging and handicapped pet.
- Never throw a dog or cat into the water, as that abrupt shock creates anxiety and often a lifelong fear of the water. Thus, many pets may 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 flotation device.
Drowning is preventable. We can’t watch our pets constantly or drown-proof their environment, but we can protect them with a flotation device when they are anywhere near water.
Mark Silberman, DVM
Southwest Animal Clinic, Bellaire, TX
Veterinarians Will Tell You It Is An All Too Familiar Scene
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 drowning within 15 to 20 minutes if the pet cannot be rescued quickly.
Jessica Killingsworth-Nantz, DVM
Drowning can Even Happen to a Veterinarian’s Dog.
“You never think it’ll happen to you. Until it does, drowning can happen to even the most responsible pet owner. Trust me, I know. I’m a veterinarian and I still haven’t forgiven myself for allowing my Frenchie, Marcel, to drown in a pool just a few feet away from my diverted attention. My story, and that of dozens of my bereaved clients over the years, explains why I’m a fan of any product that reduces the possibility of pet drowning.”
Dr. Patty Khuly