A Wildlife Article from All-Creatures.org

Pool Parties Arenít for Everyone - Protecting Wild and Companion Animals from Swimming Pool Dangers

From Animal Rights Coalition (Minneapolis MN)
May 2022

Preventing thousands of animals (cats, dogs, mice, frogs, chipmunks, raccoons and more) from drowning in swimming pools.

frog swimming pool

Wildlife and companion animals are at risk around pools.

Last fall the Animal Rights Coalition received a call from a heartbroken Bloomington resident whose cat had escaped the home and drowned in a neighborís backyard pool. Thousands of dogs and cats die in drowning incidents each year. The real number is not known because most cases go unreported. And wild animals by the countless thousands, ranging from frogs and mice to chipmunks and raccoons, drown in pools annually. Wild animal babies are especially vulnerable.

If you enjoy spending the summer lounging by the pool, please consider implementing the following measures to prevent these tragic deaths and make your backyard pool a safe place for everyone.

  • The easiest way to keep animals, including your own, out of your pool is to install a fence around it. Use a tight pool cover when your pool is not in use. A pool safety cover should be able to withstand a weight of 485 lbs. per 5 sq. ft.
  • Trimming the trees around your pool and not allowing branches to overhang your pool can save baby birds, squirrels, raccoons, and opossums from falling in. Also eliminate artificial food sources around the area. Animals such as deer, raccoons, and dogs may stumble into the pool while seeking water or foraging for food.
  • Installing an automatic sprinkler can help keep animals away from your pool. Certain sprinkler systems have infrared beams that are specially designed to detect the movement of animals. Or try spraying a natural repellent around your property that will deter animals. A solution of cayenne pepper and water makes an environmentally friendly repellent.
  • There are several products specifically designed to assist a drowning animal should they fall into your pool. Consider outfitting your pool with some of these ingenious devices: TheFrogLog,Skamper-Ramp,Paws Aboard Doggy Boat Ramp, and theCritter Skimmer. And check out thisvideoof the FrogLog in action, invented by a wildlife biologist. You can also fasten ropes around the edges of the pool at the surface of the water; animals can hang onto these or use them to climb out.

A little prevention can go a long way toward keeping your backyard pool from becoming a watery grave for companion animals and wildlife.

Return to Wildlife Articles
Read more at Companion Animal Care