During the dog days of summer, your pool is the perfect way for you and your pooch to cool off. While it is generally safe for your dog to take a dip in your pool, there are a few safety and pool care precautions you should take.
As long as it’s ok for humans to swim, it’s ok for dogs. However, just like in people, high levels of chlorine can cause skin or eye irritation. While it won’t hurt dogs, it’s a good idea to rinse them off after swimming. Also, while it’s ok for dogs to swallow some pool water, it’s not a good idea for them to drink it in excess. Have plenty of fresh water on hand for tired pups. And remember infections are caused by wet ears, not chlorine so make sure to properly dry their ears after swimming.
Most pool surfaces will be fine except for those that are vinyl-lined. If your pool is vinyl, be wary of punctures from nails. In most cases your filter will be fine, too. Unless it’s vastly undersized or you have many dogs in your pool, your filter should be able to handle some extra hair. To help it out, brush your dog before swimming to help release loose hair and use a skimmer sock, which collects the hair before it reaches the filter. As long as you check the filter pressure and vacuum your pool weekly, it shouldn’t be a problem.
After swimming, you can add a product like Natural Pool Enzyme to get rid of any organic contaminants. Also, be sure to check your water chemistry often to make sure your chlorine and pH levels are in their ideal ranges. Your local Pinch A Penny offers free water tests! Also, be aware of the number of nitrates and phosphates.
Some dogs are natural swimmers, but others do not like water at all. It’s important not to force dogs in the pool if they don’t want to swim. Some breeds, like those with short legs, are not swimmers. If you really want them to be in the water, there are plenty of options for life vests.
Even if your dog is an experienced swimmer, it’s a good back-up in case your dog gets too tired to hold themselves up. This can happen to dogs of any age. It’s also smart to invest in some swim lessons. This will give you and your pet confidence in the pool. Constant supervision is always the best bet for safety. When dogs and kids are involved, this is especially important because they can knock each other down or into the water.
Keep an eye out for signs of fatigue or anxiety in your dog. Additionally, make sure that your dog knows where the steps are and that they are clearly marked with a plant or other large object. Teach them to find the steps so they can get out on their own. If you don’t want pets in the pool when you are not there to supervise, a safety fence is a good option. Lastly, keep dogs away from stored chemical containers to prevent accidental ingestion. The best place to keep chemicals is on a high shelf or in a locked area.
If your dog gets tired or just wants to relax, you can get them their own float! Dog pool floats like these, modeled by our friend Jackson the Dalmatian, are made especially for pets. This means you can both relax in style. If you follow these pool tips, there’s no reason you and your dog can’t enjoy a refreshing dip on a hot summer day!