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5 things you should do if there’s an animal in your pool

One day you might come home from work to find an animal swimming in your pool. While it can be cute to see a little critter swim, getting too close to one can be hazardous. Here are five things you should do if there's an animal in your pool.

1. See if it's moving
The first order of business is to try to tell if the animal is dead or alive. This shouldn't be too difficult because most creatures, especially ones who aren't good at swimming, will be instinctively frantic to try to get out of the water. If it's a smaller, harmless animal, like a bird, you can remove it yourself by helping it out with a net or a makeshift ramp, suggested The Humane Society of the United States. Don't try to handle animals that are dangerous or pose a threat to you or your family. Call animal control right away. 

2. Remove the body
If the creature isn't alive, remove the body with care. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested scooping it out with a bucket – make sure you have gloves on – and then placing it in a double-bagged garbage bag. You won't want to store it in your home because the carcass will smell bad, and again, it's full of germs. Put it somewhere outside or drive it to the dump. If it's lying around until trash day, store it somewhere that other animals won't bother with it, warned the CDC. Don't forget to properly dispose of your gloves and also sanitize the tools you used to get the animal out of the pool. 

3. Prohibit swimming
Whether the creature is living or not, temporarily suspend all swimming until you've removed it and have had your pool cleaned. Each specimen carries germs, and you and your loved ones can get sick if you decide to jump in immediately after removal. Some of the pathogens are even chlorine resistant, for example pre-weaned lambs that typically carry cryptosporidium. Even if an animal goes for a quick dip and then hops out, it can still affect your pool's pH and chemical levels. 

4. Call your pool professional
Call San Diego, Fort Worth or Phoenix pool service professionals for a chemical balance. It's important to leave a chlorine change to the experts following an incident like this because it requires extra attention. What's more, the animal's fur could be stuck in your filtration system so you might need it fixed as well.

5. Reduce the chance of it happening again
Once an animal has made its way into your backyard swimming pool, the chances of it happening again are pretty high. Ensure that it doesn't occur a second time by making some changes. If you live in a woodsy area, consider putting up a fence or a wall around the swimming area to keep bears and bigger animals out of the pool.

It's a good idea to prevent animals from entering the pool as best as you can because the clean-up can be quite extensive. Keep your pool clean so your friends and family can enjoy a healthy swimming environment.