Are Pools Safe for Dogs, Too?

There’s nothing like a refreshing dip in the pool on a hot day, and your furry friends are sure to think so, too! Some dog breeds, such as retrievers, setters, and water dogs love getting in the water, but many owners are hesitant to let them dive into the pool. While pool chemicals are perfectly safe for humans, they may have different effects on canine family members. Dogs that shed in the summer may raise other concerns for pool owners as clumps of hair could interfere with the filter’s effectiveness. Learn the truth behind these concerns and others to determine if it is safe for your dog to swim in the pool.

Is Chlorine Safe for Dogs?safe pools

Adding chlorine to pool water helps oxidize microorganisms to prevent the buildup of algae and bacteria. Chlorine is often added to most tap water as well to keep it safe for drinking. Clearly, chlorine has many benefits for humans, but they know not to swallow too much pool water. Many wonder if chlorine will have a negative impact on the health of dogs.

The truth of the matter is that large doses of chlorine are unsafe for dogs and humans alike. If your pool contains the proper balance of chemicals, it will be safe for all. Drinking pool water should be discouraged as this can lead to some sickness; swallowing small amounts, however, will not harm even the smallest dogs. Have plenty of clean water nearby for your furry friend to discourage pool drinking. Because chlorine safety is dose-specific, keep dogs away from concentrated chlorine tablets. If chlorine seems to be irritating to your dog (or you), try using bromine as a less-intense alternative.

Will Dog Fur Clog the Filter?

Unfortunately, yes, dog fur will clog the filter faster than typical clogs related to human use, but this by no means should prevent you from allowing your dog to take a dip. Some water-friendly dogs, such as the Portuguese Water Dog, have hair much like humans that needs to be trimmed and does not shed on its own. If you have a shedding dog, a bit of regular pool maintenance is all it takes to prevent serious damage to your filter. Be sure to strain your pool using a skimmer every time your dog goes for a swim.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Can Swim?

Dogs’ swimming abilities differ based on their breed, build and personality. If you are not sure about your dog’s water skills, it is best to allow for experimentation at the dog’s own pace. Start by putting your dog near the pool’s shallow end and see what interactions take place. Some dogs will dive right in, while others may test the waters with their paws and nose first. Try to discourage dogs from treating the pool like a giant water bowl, but a few licks might be your dog’s way of seeing if the water is suitable.

Swimming is an excellent exercise for your dog and a great way to help them cool off. Proper maintenance of the chemical levels and filtering system will keep the pool safe and clean for your dog and human friends.