Is it Sanitary to Let My Pets in the Pool?

shutterstock_624271061Is it safe for my pets to swim?

It is generally safe for your furry friend to take a swim in your backyard pool. However, there are several things to keep in mind when allowing your dog, or any pet, to take a dip. Depending on the type of pool you have – saltwater or chlorine – the chemicals in the water could affect your animal. While the chlorine level in pools is generally safe for humans, your animal’s ears, nose and eyes may be just a bit more sensitive to the chlorine.

While ingesting small amounts of chlorine has not been known to be harmful, just make sure the dog doesn’t use the pool as their personal water bowl. And although the chlorine itself will not cause an ear infection for your dog, after swimming, it’s best to rinse off Fido with a hose and dry him thoroughly, including his ears.

As with a small child, many dogs may be apprehensive when first entering the pool, and dogs do not just naturally know how to swim if they’ve never been in the water before. Therefore, they too, have to learn. Be sure to take it slowly with your pet, not just throwing them in the water. This can cause your dog to be fearful and getting them back to the water next time can be difficult.

Also very important is teaching your dog how to exit the pool. Many times, dogs cannot easily find a way out; therefore, putting a flag or a chair on the deck can help them find the stairs more easily. A ramp can be installed to help dogs, especially smaller ones, exit the pool safely.

As with small children, it’s important always keep an eye on your dog when he’s swimming. Make sure you are in the water with him or standing very nearby. You can also purchase water vests for pets when you can’t be near the pool with them, as well as an alarm that includes a water-detecting sensor.

Will my pet get my pool dirty?

A dog of average size can bring stuff into the pool equal to the amount of three humans. And if you have more than one dog that will be joining you in the water, the amount will triple.

Unfortunately, your pet will most likely contaminate the swimming pool water with fecal matter, insects, dirt, etc. The more your dog is outside, the more dirt that’s introduced. Keeping the proper chlorine levels in your pool with help combat the effects of this.

Almost all dogs shed, and all that shedding hair will be introduced into the pool. It’s wise to keep your pet’s hair short and brush it out often if he will be enjoying the pool with the family. A lot of the hair will not be caught by the skimmer, so make sure you have the proper pump and filter system for the extra work it will be doing.

Going for a swim is a great way for your dog to cool off in the hot summer months. With the proper filtration, cleaning and maintenance of your pool, and keeping in mind the safety tips for your dog, he should be able to enjoy a dip in the pool with everyone else this summer.