Does your dog take a frequent swim in the pool, or swim constantly in the summer? The biggest question this brings up for most pet + pool owners is - is it ok for my pet to take a dip in the family pool? Followed quickly by - what does this mean for my pool and how can I keep it clean?
Pool Safety for Pets
According to PetMD.com, “pool water contains very dilute levels of chlorine, and is unlikely to cause chlorine poisoning in humans or animals…a pet is more likely to become ill from a dunk in a standing pool of water, or a lake filled with unknown microorganisms such as amoeba, than they are from swimming in a properly maintained pool full of chlorinated water.”
Other risks to pets:
Ingesting chlorine tablets can cause chlorine poisoning. The scent is often unappealing to dogs and cats, but proper storage should eliminate the risk of chlorine poisoning.
Pets who swim regularly may experience more frequent ear infections.
The biggest health risk for any pet is drowning. PetMD.com says, “although people mistakenly assume a dog’s instinctive paddling behavior means all dogs are water-safe, dogs can panic, tire, and drown in any body of water, chlorinated or not.”
With proper attention to your pet’s behavior there is no reason we can’t all enjoy a nice summer dip. But what about the extra care and cleaning of your pool with all that animal fur that has been introduced?
Pool Cleaning Tips for Dog Hair
The downside to dogs who love to swim, is the residue of dander, fluff and loose hair in and around the pool. Dog hair is finer and harder to control than leaves and other debris, and it can wreak havoc on your filtration system.
Here’s how to keep your pool clean when you share it with pets:
Brush or de-shed dogs before you let them in the pool
Clean the skimmer basket before + after your dog swims. That might mean several times a day.
Put a skimmer sock over your skimmer basket.
Use a hand vacuum to reach any clumps of dog hair that have drifted to the bottom of your pool.
Keep a close eye on your pool filters. You will need to clean them more often than a normal maintenance schedule suggests.
Install a stronger filtration system. Work with a professional pool company to install the strongest filter and water system available.
Keep a close eye on the pH and chemical levels. A pet swimming in the pool will raise the pH and quickly consume the pool's chlorine.
We wouldn’t hesitate to let your dog swim in the pool - as long as you are willing to pay extra attention to your pet’s safety and your pool’s maintenance. Grab that favorite toy and go for swim and a game of pool fetch with your pet!