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I am someone who often take my dog ( a two year old golden retriever ) to swim and I know many others who do that. Since my dog is a fairly good swimmer I was never concerned about the safety aspects of it. But recently my friend's poddle was almost drowned in the pool at their house and this got me concerned about the safety of pets in custom swimming pools. Do you guys make sure about the safety elements before taking your pet for a swim? What are the safety features that you look for in a pool?
 

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Both of my dogs are swimmers -- one is a very strong swimmer and the other is a "last resort" swimmer (i.e. if she's REALLY hot she'll swim). We don't let them swim in pools, only in open natural bodies of water. Typically I just make sure that they can easily enter/exit the water. Both of my girls know when they're tiring and will get out on their own (ignoring a ball thrown), if you're dog is a huge ball/stick addict then you may need to make sure that you're not over-doing it with fetch as retrieving-addicts will swim themselves past exhaustion which can be dangerous.

I do not have life-jackets for my girls, but they do seem to be becoming more popular, especially with boaters. The other thing to watch out for is that your dog isn't drinking to much water while swimming, as that can cause water-intoxication which is very scary and very life threatening.
 
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