Guest contributor: Kaitlin Gardner
You have really enjoyed your back yard pool during the summer, but now it’s fall, and you want to be inside the house watching football. The kids are off at the mall, and the pool just sits in the back yard, unattended. Now it can provide a safety hazard for pets – maybe it’s time to consider getting a pool safety cover.
The safety issue for pets. It’s an unfortunate fact that many dogs are lost each year by falling into uncovered pools. The dog might not know how to get out, or might not even know how to swim. They flail around, and it becomes a sad situation about to occur. Even if your dogs are inside the house, what about that neighbor dog who somehow gets into your back yard? The pool is now a safety issue to be resolved. You don’t want to have to be looking out the window constantly to make sure nothing is happening out at the pool. Here are some resources with more information:
- Improve Pool Safety for Kids and Pets With The Proper Cover
- Safety Pool Covers Prevent Pet Loss
- Pool Safety: Pool Covers: Tragedy in the Making
Can’t let the dogs out? While that great football game is on TV, the dogs start whining at the back door. They need to go out to take care of business, and you hesitate. It’s a critical point in the game, and you will have to watch the dogs the whole time they are in the back yard. Why? Because of the pool. They might fall in accidentally, and even though they are familiar with the pool – they love it in fact – they might still get in trouble.
A pool safety cover. If you install a pool safety cover, you can let your dogs out into the back yard, and know that they will be safe. But it has to be the right kind of cover, or it could cause other problems. There are three basic types of pool covers:
- A bubble wrap cover. This is a large, specially made piece of bubble wrap, which just lays on top of the water. It helps with cutting down water loss from evaporation, and retaining heat in the pool. For the pet owner, this is not a great solution – the dog could run across it thinking it is a solid surface, and either get entangled, or trapped underneath the wrap.
- Mesh cover. These covers work very well. They don’t require as much maintenance as solid covers, because they allow water to bleed through, and don’t need to be cleared. On the other hand, leaves and debris can fall through, which may mean the development of an algae problem over the winter. For the pool owner with pets – a dog could get tangled in the mesh, and that could cause problems.
- A solid cover. This cover attaches to the sides of the pool, and usually takes two people to deploy. It gathers rain and snow, so it will need to be cleared over the winter. But it also keeps leaves and debris from getting into the pool, which can help avoid a nasty algae problem. For pet owners – these covers can hold up to 4,000 pounds of weight. A dog can run across this cover like it is a solid surface, and the most that can happen is that he will slip and slide.
The peace of mind. The game is on TV, you’ve settled down to the exciting finish, and the dogs are outside running and exploring. You have no worries about them – they go out any time they want – because the safety pool cover is in place.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania. They enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.