If you have a dog and a swimming pool in your backyard, you might have seen the canine wanting to jump in the water. Or you might have been tempted to invite your dog for a swim. Some dogs actually love swimming like most of us do, especially during the summer heat. But should you let your dog swim in the pool?
It’s all up to you. If your dog is a natural swimmer or trained to swim, you can decide to or not get it into the swimming pool. However, you’ll have to weigh the safety and maintenance required after vs. the benefits of allowing the dog to swim.
Dog in pool is a huge topic, with two or three things that you might want to know before you can allow the dog to enjoy a dip in your swimming pool. Continue reading to understand what you’ve to deal with if you allow your dog to swim.
Why Should You Let Your Dog To Swim In The Pool?
Dog swimming is more popular in Europe than in the US. However, it’s gaining recognition, especially as a therapeutic solution for some veterinary health and fitness issues and an excellent, rigorous conditioning program for the canines in training.
Allowing your dog to swim in the pool gives it a chance to benefit from strength building, mobility improvement, muscle training, and improved quality of life. Swimming as an exercise is easy on the joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Working out dogs in pool also provides an exceptional cardiovascular workout with no stiffness or pain. And the warm water acts as a muscle relaxant while promoting blood and oxygen flow.
According to an ISRN veterinary science journal, dog swimming is a useful strategy to help a canine regain movement and function in with OA joint.
Even though it’s beneficial to let your dog swim in the pool, ensure you supervise the dogs when they are in the swimming pool. Not all dogs are best at swimming; it’d be best to take it slow and allow the dog to adapt.
What’s more, you have to think about how a dog can affect your swimming pool. That’s because when you allow it to swim, it will leave hair and other contaminants in the water.
Is Pool Water Safe For Dogs?
A properly maintained swimming pool is generally safe for dogs to swim in—pool water, whether chlorine or saltwater, is not considered harmful under most circumstances. However, there are a few things to remember.
Dogs’ skin might not be as sensitive as humans, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be affected by pool water, especially if unbalanced.
If your pool is properly maintained and its chemicals balanced, it’s entirely safe for your dog to swim in it. Both chlorine water and saltwater are safe for your dog in most circumstances. But not always.
As you might have noticed when swimming, you swallow some pool water. Animals do it more than humans, and they don’t know better; they might even keep drinking during the whole swimming session.
You’d try and prevent this from happening. Drinking a lot of pool water could cause gastrointestinal tract upset and lead to oesophageal damage, vomiting, and nausea.
Suppose the dog drinks an excessive amount, though rare, can lead to water intoxication. This dangerous condition causes an imbalance in body electrolytes, causing severe, possibly irreversible brain damage.
Like the effect of pool chemicals on human skin, dogs also experience skin dryness and irritation at times, especially when they swim often. That’s why it’d be best to rinse and dry your canine’s hair after every swimming session.
While at it, check for redness, flaking, or any other issue that might suggest a problem. If you find any skin abnormality, call or visit your vet.
How Can A Dog Affect Your Pool Water If Allowed To Swim?
According to experts, one dog’s effect in a swimming pool is the same as that of three adults. They bring more debris to the pool than humans.
The canine companions have more hair than a human body. All the loose and dead hair on their coats end up in the water, even with one single dip.
If not caught at the right time, all the hair ends up in the filtration system while also affecting the pool chemical balance. That’s not all; the hair could contain lots of debris, pollen, dirt, and other matter that find their way in the swimming pool.
If your dog had germs or parasites, it could contaminate your swimming pool water and affect any swimmer or animal that enters it.
If you’re using a liner in your pool, the strong dog nails could tear it quite easily. That’s why it’s recommended dog-friendly swimming pools be made from plastic or vinyl lining.
The nails might also injure swimmers as it paddles in the water. They could also damage the pool tools and equipment.
How to Reduce Dog Effects in the Swimming Pool
The best way to prevent these adverse effects of allowing a dog to swim in your swimming pool is by keeping it clean and groomed.
You can also trim the nails regularly and ensure they are smooth before allowing the dog to enter the pool.
Give your dog a regular clean and brush the dead hair and debris from the coat before it can get access to the pool water.
It’ll cut down on the amount of hair the dog sheds in the pool water and helps get rid of the debris that it might be carrying on the fur.
Remember to keep your pool clean and maintain the pool equipment to keep the pool safe for all swimmers. Closely monitor the chemical balance, so the pool water is properly treated.
Is dog hair bad for pools?
As I mentioned above, the dog sheds a lot of hair when swimming. It’s a situation you’ve to be prepared to deal with if you cannot manage to keep your canine friend out of the pool. Is it bad? I have briefly touched on this in the section above.
Yes, dog hair is bad for pools. As I aforementioned, if left uncaught, the dog hair can end up clogging the pool filtration system. If it’s more than one dog, you can be dealing with a dander residue and fluff. And since it might be difficult to see some of these contaminants, it could wreak havoc on your pool filtration system and lead to expensive pool maintenance.
And since most dogs love water, you might get used to dealing with the hair and fluff problem more often than you might have thought. The good news is, some ways can help reduce and prevent the dog hair problem in your pool.
How to Keep Dog Hair from Ruining Your Swimming Pool
1) Clean and De-Shed the Dog Hair before a Swim
Before allowing a four-legged friend in your swimming pool, clean using the right dog cleaner and brush off the furs thoroughly using a Pet Grooming Brush or de-shredder.
Doing this will help you remove the dead and weaker hair the dog might shed in the pool water when swimming. It can also help prevent the dog’s fur from tangling after getting wet.
The cleaning will help get all the dirt and debris that might be on the dog’s coat. It can reduce the amount of maintenance you’ll be giving your pool after the swim.
2) Install a Hairnet in the Skimmer Basket
Since it’s impossible to get all the hair with a de-shredder, installing a hairnet or using a pantyhose in your pool skimmer basket could help remove the extra hair from the pool water.
As you might have noticed, the holes on the skimmer basket are huge than the hair threads. That means it cannot do any good in capturing them.
The extra filter layer can help capture both human and dog hair, thus protecting your pool’s filtration system from clogging.
3) Get a stronger Pool Filtration System
If you’re certain you will be swimming with your dog or you want to add swimming in its weekly workouts, then installing a stronger pool filtration system would the best move.
If a dog in pool sounds cool, you need a system capable of filtering anything that passes through the hairnet and not comprises its ability to keep the pool water clean.
And never forget to give the system regular maintenance. Getting a bigger, more robust system doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be cared for regularly.
4) Use Hand Vacuum
Even if you have installed a stronger filtration system, getting a hand pool vacuum with its internal filter would be a smart move.
It can help you remove the dog hair clumps that might have settled at the pool bottom. It’s quite difficult for the skimmer and filtration system to collect them.
What to do if a dog poops in the pool?
Even though it’s rare, at times, dogs do poop in a swimming pool. It’s something that frustrates most pool owners. But it shouldn’t.
One of your responsibilities as a pool owner is to keep the water clean and balanced while ensuring the pool equipment function properly.
If your dog were to poop in the pool water, you have to quickly and effectively take care of the problem. Here’s how you can remove dog poops from your swimming pool.
Step 1: Close your swimming pool.
Step 2: Wear disposable gloves.
Step 3: Get a leaf net or a bucket and scoop the poop out of the water.
Step 4: Dispose of the pool in the most sanitary way and lean the item you used to remove it.
Step 5: Dip the item in the pool to disinfect it along with the pool water.
Step 6: You can now dispose of the gloves.
Step 7: Use soap and water to wash your hands thoroughly.
Step 8: It’s time to disinfect the pool. Raise your pool’s free chlorine concentration two ppm (parts per million) and keep its pH 7.2 and 7.5 for 30 minutes.
Step 9: Make sure your pool filtration system operational.
Step 10: Remove the buck or the leaf net from the pool, and you’re done.
Can All Dogs Swim?
You might have seen a dog swimming somewhere, be it at the beach, a movie, or. And now you’re asking yourself if all dogs can swim.
The answer is, it depends on the breed. Your dog might be a natural swimmer, or swimming can be a real challenge. Dogs are different, and not all love getting wet. If your dog love to dive into creeps or ponds, that’s a natural swimmer. But if he treats water like an enemy and does everything to avoid it, he might not be.
But whether your canine friend loves the water or not, your dog needs to learn to stay calm and comfortable in and around the water for its safety.
It’s a necessary step if you have a backyard swimming pool or frequently visit a home with one. It’s also beneficial if it comes a day when you want the dog to accompany you when going to the beach, for a cottage vacation, or boating.
You could even get a trainer to train your dog to swim or get some training pointer and train him yourself.
Most people assume it natural for all animals to know how to swim. But that isn’t the case. Train your dog to be comfortable in and around the water, especially in the puppy stage. You can then observe if he’s a natural swimmer. If not, then train him.
Dog Swimming Pool Safety Tips
As I mentioned earlier, not all dogs can swim naturally. That’s why it’d be best to understand the dog’s swimming capabilities before letting him in the swimming pool.
If you’re sure the dog can swim well, you can allow him to jump right in, but you MUST supervise him all the time.
If it’s the first time you’ve introduced the dog to swimming, take it slow. Do not force him to get into the swimming pool. Allow him to explore the fun at his pleasure.
You get him a dog life vest to swim with until he’s comfortable to float freely. Take your time in helping the canine to stay calm, comfortable, and safe.
Keep the nails short and smooth to prevent them from tearing the liner, damaging the toys, or even scratching you or the kids when swimming-playing.
If your dog isn’t comfortable climbing the steps during exit or jumping in the pool, assist him, especially if you use pool ladders or steps only.
If you can get a beach entry or a shelf entry, that would help the dogs a lot during entry and exit.
Make sure the pool cover you’re using is a safety cover. A floating model is at the risk of sinking when an animal or kids get on top. And it could trap them under.
Another way of keeping the dogs out is using a pool fence with a decent height. Apart from keeping the kids out, the pool barrier could help prevent swim-enthusiast dogs from accessing the swimming pool.
Q: Can Chlorine Water Kill a Dog?
A: Chlorine isn’t safe for both humans and animals. It’s a chemical that can cause kidney and liver failure and eventually death.
Suppose your dog accidentally ingested a considerable amount of chlorine; the best action would be to seek veterinary services as soon as possible. Thankfully, chlorine doesn’t taste or smell good; it’s unpalatable for dogs.
According to CDC, chlorinated water is entirely safe if a dog drinks it in low concentration, about 4 milligrams per liter. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your pool chlorine levels to 1-3 milligrams per liter.
Q: Can Saltwater Kill a Dog?
A: Same as chlorine, low salt levels in water are entirely safe for dogs. However, in a copious amount, the saltwater can cause dehydration, leading to brain hemorrhages before saltwater poisoning takes the dog’s life.
Should dogs be allowed in swimming pools? Yes, but you will have to train it to stay calm and comfortable in and around the pool. It’s also a must you supervise it. Use a hair de-shredder to remove the dead and loose hair on the body before allowing your dog to swim. If you did this, you could now enjoy your swimming pool with your canine friend.