The sweltering heat is too much for the dogs to bear, so a dip in your backyard pool might be luxury for them. “In my hometown, which is Salem, we had a huge tank which we cleaned and covered it with tarpaulin and made it a dog pool,” says Siva R, a banker and a pet lover. “My two labradors would just love being inside and playing with water to beat the heat,” he added.
Pools not only give them a lap of luxury but it also helps dogs manage weight, avoid hip dysplasia and the surgery that follows. “It is important to take your dogs out to the pool once in a month as it is a form of hydrotherapy,” says Dr R Sokkalingam from Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
He further says that it must be started while the pet is one month old, “Lots of puppies are born with congenital disorders, some suffer from limb movements, etc. Once they are brought to the pool and let to swim, it will cure them from all such problems.”
While swimming and hydrotherapy has its ups, few feel that creating a backyard pool is a lot of work and money, “I used two layers of tarpaulin and river sand as bedding, as it would help keep their fur tick-free. It was a permanent one in my backyard, but over time I found it extremely tough to maintain, it incurred high filtration costs,” said Vishnu Prasath another pet owner.
Adding to this, Shravan Krishnan, who runs Hotel for Dogs at ECR says that while one can create a backyard pool using tanks, tarpaulins and others, it must only be used for swimming and not therapy. “Many people get confused with swimming and hydrotherapy. Swimming is just a form of it, even for that one must take all the precautionary measures to keep bacteria and germs spread in check.”
He further said that not many dogs these days are being bred properly, causing them to face health issues and an activity like swimming would keep them fit and fine. “One minute of swimming is equal to five minutes of running on land. So if they swim for at least 10 minutes in a week, it will be very helpful,” he said.
Pet owners suggest that a backyard pool must be at least 10 by 15 feet long, it can be made using old pallets and cedar, large water storage tanks or pits. It must be cleaned every alternate day and must be chorine free as it would harm their skin easily.
“Nothing can be a better gift to pets than this,” said Shravan.