Dogs and Swimming Pools
Dogs Enjoy the Benefits of a Pool Just as Much as Humans
During the summer, humans aren’t the only ones that struggle with the heat. Our four-legged companions also have a hard time in warmer weather. There seems to be a constant stream of videos featuring dogs swimming in pools, cooling themselves off. As many pet owners and pool owners see these videos, they often question if dogs and swimming pools go well together.
It is completely understandable for pool owners to question whether it is safe for their pet and their pool if their dog goes for a swim. While the consensus is that there is no real danger, there is still some important information to know.
Not All Dogs are the Same
It is a common misconception that all dogs know how to swim. While many breeds instinctively have this ability, many still need to be taught. Some do not have the appropriate builds to be strong swimmers.
Breeds that are born to swim typically have long, strong limbs, being bred to retrieve ducks and other animals from the water for hunting. Some of these breeds are:
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- English Setter
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Portuguese Water Dog
- And more
There are, however, just as many breeds that are not built for swimming. These breeds have short legs that can’t properly perform doggie paddles, preventing them from staying above the water surface. Some breeds have short faces that make them struggle to keep their snouts above the water, and their small bodies make it easier for them to get colder faster. Some of these include:
- Basset Hound
- And more
This does not mean that they can’t go for a swim, but if they do, it is best that they always have supervision to make sure they are safe.
Chlorine and Dogs
Probably a large concern for many pet owners is if chlorine is bad for their dogs. While chlorine in high concentrations can be dangerous for any animal or human, it does not lead to any lasting danger when it’s diluted in pool water. Like for humans, chlorine can cause a dog’s eyes and skin to become irritated. Also, because a dog’s nose is so sensitive, chlorine can irritate it.
It is important to hose or rinse off your dog to ensure that the chlorine does not dry their skin and fur out. Also, it is incredibly important to keep any pool chemicals out of reach from children and pets as they can cause serious problems if ingested.
Dog Hair and Your Pool
Dogs bring much more debris and hair into the pool than humans do. The fur can hold fecal matter, insects, dirt, and other things. If your pool’s chemistry is properly maintained, it should handle the excess debris and cause less of an issue. It is still important to make sure the water is not ingested after your dog has swum in it. You can even shock your pool following your pet’s swim to ensure the water is sanitized.
Dogs shed in your pool, much more than a human would. While their hair is much harder on your filtration system, it will not cause it any damage. The strainer basket will do most of the heavy lifting, and then you will just need to skim to water once the hair settles. Dog hair is a very manageable byproduct.
Other Benefits and Concerns
Just like humans, pools are a fantastic exercise for dogs, both young and old. It is a great, low-impact full-body workout. It is said that 1 minute in the pool equals 4 minutes jogging. Swimming should still be used with some combination of running or walking.
The greatest danger for dogs using pools comes from drowning. Hundreds of dogs across the country suffer this fate with more going unreported. To ensure your furry family member’s safety, always fence off your pool and never let your dog swim without supervision, no matter their size.
There are a great many benefits for allowing your dog to take a swim in the pool. It is important to put your dog’s safety and comfort first as not every dog may like swimming, regardless of their breed. If you are curious about any other concern about the impact your pet can have on your pool, contact Mid City Custom Pools.