If you spend enough time on YouTube, you'll eventually discover the attraction dogs have to swimming pools. We often get asked whether it is safe to allow your dogs in the pool. The short answer is yes, but there is more to it. For instance, if you choose to let your dog go swimming in the pool, you will need to be extra diligent about pool maintenance and making sure the water chemistry is balanced. If you want to go swimming with your dog, here are a few things to consider before doing so.
Letting Dogs In The Pool Means They Must Be Strong Swimmers
As the case with people, swimming is great exercise for dogs. They can reap the benefits of aerobic exercise while being low impact at the same time. However, there are definitely certain breeds that are better swimmers than others, which is important when it comes to the safety of the dog.
Some breeds such as Labradors, Brittany Spaniels and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers to name just a few where swimming is like second nature to them. Heavily inbred breeds such as Pugs, English Bulldogs, Corgis and others have peculiar body shapes and breathing challenges where swimming can be more harmful than fun for them. It is a good idea to consult with your veterinarian about your particular dog's ability to swim before allowing them in the pool.
Tips For Training Your Dogs In The Pool
Don't throw your dog in the pool.
Don't force your dog to go in the pool. It is important to let them go in at their own pace.
Don't leave your dog unattended in the pool. Some breeds are not strong swimmers and leaving them alone, even if for a moment, can result in a dangerous accident.
Do be sure to put a limit of no more than ten minutes at a time in the pool. It is important not to let them get over exhausted.
Do supervise your dog's swimming behavior and make sure you are within reach in case of any emergencies.
Do use a life jacket made specifically for dogs for the utmost in safety.
Do use a small floating toy or raft with your dog in the beginning to help them get used to the concept of swimming pools.
It's easy for dogs to get in the pool. Getting out of the pool can be incredibly difficult depending on your pool's features. Be sure to focus any training on teaching your dog how to get out of the pool. Installing dog friendly steps or ramps can be helpful.
How Do Pool Chemicals Affect My Dog?
While swimming pool water is relatively safe for dogs to swim in, chlorine is extremely toxic to dogs if it is consumed. Dogs being dogs, they will drink or eat pretty much anything. Dogs will drink pool water and that can cause nausea, vomiting, damage to their esophagus and in a few rare cases, it may cause death.
It is important to leave fresh water out around the pool for when your dog gets thirsty so they don't instinctively drink the pool water. Also, be sure to keep pool chemicals locked up and out of reach of any pets.
Just like with people, a pool's water is generally safe for dogs to swim in, but also just like people, they may experience some of the same side effects of too much chlorine exposure, such as irritated eyes or skin. Also, because of a dog's fur, chlorine can stay on a dog's skin longer than a human's. The American Kennel Club suggests washing your dog with fresh water after they are done swimming to avoid any irritations or infections.
Can Letting My Dogs In The Pool Damage My Equipment?
Let's face it, dogs are naturally dirty and they like being dirty. According to one study, one dog in the pool is the same as three humans. The dirt and debris on a dog's coat can place strain on your pool's water balance. Also, if you dog is a shedder, their fur or hair can quickly clog your pool's filters. Dogs are also more likely to pee in the pool or even poop. Additionally, their nails can damage pool tiles and equipment. Lastly, a dog can bring parasites into the water, especially if they are not up on their shots and boosters. All this means that your pool maintenance, water testing and pool cleaning routine will require extra attention if you plan to let dogs in the pool.
Before Letting Dogs In The Pool, Call Super Shark Pools For A Maintenance Plan That Can Accommodate You, Your Family And Your Furry Friends
There is a concern that your dog may inadvertently contaminate your pool should you choose to allow them some swimming pool time. It is important to consider all the risks and options before letting them jump in. Call Super Shark Pools for a free estimate on keeping your pool clean and maintained for you and your dog. We can be reached at (941) 225-3970 or contact us on the website here. We look forward to helping your entire family enjoy the Florida swimming season all year long.