Just about every dog loves taking an occasional dip in a swimming pool. There are even flotation devices and life vests designed specifically for use on pet dogs who love to get in the water but may not necessarily have the strength or skills to stay afloat and swim. While some dogs, such as Labradors, are built for the water, others love the water but aren’t necessary meant to be swimming in it.
But even if you do have a water-loving dog, is it really a good idea to let him or her swim in your pool where the rest of the family swims as well? Continue reading for the answer to this important question.
The Potential Harm of Chlorine
If you use chlorine to keep your pool’s water pristine, you may want to prevent your dog from diving in and going for a swim. While the chlorine doesn’t adversely affect the vast majority of people who swim in pools, the eyes, ears, and nose of a canine are much more sensitive to chlorine’s effects. Dogs may also inadvertently swallow too much chlorinated water while they’re in the pool.
If you absolutely want your dog to enjoy swimming in the pool, opt for a saltwater pool that doesn’t require any chlorine whatsoever. Or instead of chlorine to keep the water clean, you can use other chemicals, such as bromine, that are deemed safe for pets. If you need to use chlorine, just rinse your dog off with clean water thoroughly after each swim. You can use a garden hose with a soft enough spray that will get rid of the chlorine from the fur so he or she doesn’t lick it off and ingest it.
Dogs, especially those with floppy ears, may be prone to ear infections if they spend a lot of time in the pool. This isn’t because of the chlorine but rather because of the excess moisture and dampness that results for long periods even after the dog leaves the pool. To prevent these infections, you would need to dry off your dog’s ears thoroughly after each swim.
Contamination from Your Dog
If your dog spends a lot of time outside, he or she is liable to bring in a lot of dirt, debris, bugs, and other contaminants into your pool. You might notice that you need to disinfect your pool water by adding more chlorine if you let your dog swim in it often. Also, there’s the potential that fecal matter attached to the dog’s fur could be transferred into the pool as well, putting all of the human swimmers at risk of exposure to harmful bacteria. And your dog will also shed a lot while in the pool, leaving behind a lot of fur that will make your pool water dirty and harder to keep clean.
Even though it might be fun to watch your dog swim, there are risks involved both for the humans who use the pool as well as the dogs themselves. Therefore, consider the pros and cons of letting your dog into the pool before allowing him or her to dive in.