is pool water bad for dogs

Is Pool Water Bad for Dogs? What to Know Before Letting Your Pup Swim with You

Every year there are about 214,000 cases of pet poisoning in the U.S. With all these stories, it is wise to be cautious with your furry friend. Wandering about taking your pet swimming?

Is pool water bad for dogs? Let’s take a look and see if it’s safe to take your dog to the pool with you.

Chlorine in Pools

Chlorine breaks down chemicals and destroys microorganisms. Without it, pools would turn black or green with algae and bacteria build-up.

Humans swim in pools when most chlorine levels are safe. You can even ingest a little of this water without harm. Be sure your dogs do not get into chlorine tablets because these can be toxic if ingested. 

Dogs’ eyes and ears are much more sensitive than humans. This sensitivity can make them more vulnerable. Dogs with floppy ears have a greater risk of ear infections, but this is because of the ears being damp and not the chlorine.

If chlorine levels are kept at an acceptable level, these chemicals are usually not dangerous to dogs if they happen to drink some fo the water. Saltwater pools also have a trace of chlorine. If dogs consume chlorine and salt in excess, it can have an effect.

You can find some other chemicals that are safer for pets and keep your pool clean like Bromine.

Is Pool Water Bad for Dogs?

If your dog drinks too much-chlorinated pool water, the water can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. This can cause vomiting, nausea, and esophagus erosion. This is why it’s important to keep your dog away when there are higher amounts of chlorine in the pool. You made need to do a chemical shock to your pool to return a chemical balance, and you should not let your dog swim while the chemical levels are high.

This doesn’t mean you should use less chlorine in your pool. If water is not properly treated, the pool water can contain bacteria, fungi, parasites, and algae. These can affect your dog and you much more with skin contact, ingestion, or inhalation.

A small drink of pool water most likely will not hurt your dog. Humans drink water accidentally a lot and rarely do they have issues.

Don’t let your dog use the pool as it’s main water source when you’re outside. Be sure to keep a fresh bowl of clean water handy for your canine.

Should You Let Your Dog Swim?

First, you need to make sure your dog knows how to swim. If your dog can swim, it is probably safe to let your dog swim. Make sure you watch your dog because even experienced swimmers can have issues and drown—that includes dogs!

If you are worried about your dog’s swimming ability, you can purchase a dog life vest.

Don’t let your dog swim for long periods of time. A moderate or short swimming session is generally safe, but too much exposure to these chemicals can irritate a dog’s coat, eyes, and skin. Hose your dog off after he is done swimming to remove any residue.

You should never force a dog to get in a pool if it doesn’t want to. The dog should feel comfortable getting in just like a human. To get your dog used to the water, try throwing a toy in the water to have your dog fetch.

You may have to help your canine get out of the pool because the steps and pool ladders may be difficult to use or hard to find for your dog. Lead your dog to the steps or ledge, so she doesn’t panic when she needs to get out. If your dog swims often, you may want to add a pool ramp so it’s easier for your dog to get out.

After Your Dog Gets Out of the Pool

You should hose your dog off quickly to remove any chemicals. You should also take a towel and dry out their ears to prevent infections. The pool chemicals won’t hurt their ears, but yeast likes to grow in damp places like wet ears.

If your dog is prone to ear infections, ask your vet for a drying solution to apply after your dog swims.

What About Saltwater Pools?

Saltwater pools have less chlorine, but drinking too much saltwater can also cause similar issues to your pet’s digestive system. If your dog ingests too much salt, your dog can get an electrolyte imbalance or diarrhea. It would take a lot of this water for this effect because there is much less salt in these pools than in the ocean.

After your dog gets out of a saltwater pool, you should still hose him off even though these pools may be easier on the skin.

Keeping Your Dog Safe Around the Pool

If you are outside swimming, it’s probably pretty warm. Make sure your dog doesn’t overheat or your dog could suffer a heatstroke. Your dog should have plenty of freshwater and shade to keep cool when he is not swimming.

You should also let your dog take some breaks in the house if she appears tired.

The ground near the pool can get very hot with direct sun. This can burn your dog’s paws. You should test the concrete, tile, or stone with your hand to make sure it’s not too hot.

Does Your Dog Harm the Pool?

You need to also think about how your dog can affect a pool. Dogs’ claws can quickly tear the plastic and vinyl liners.

You will have to clean your filter after a dog swims because the dog’s hair, dander, and debris will get in the water. You will need to check the pH of the water. You can help manage these effects by hosing your dog off before he enters the pool.

Final Thoughts About Dogs and Pools

So, is pool water bad for dogs? As long as your dog does not drink too much water, the pool water should be okay. Be sure you keep your dog safe around the pools with enough freshwater and shade to stay cool.

As long as your dog can swim, you can let your dog swim with you. After swimming, hose off your dog and dry out her ears.

Looking for a pool for you and your dog to enjoy? Contact us today for a quote. We also provide pool cleaning services.