Dogs and the Swimming Pool
Now that it’s getting to be swim season, it’s not just the two-legged family members that want to dive in! Some dogs love the pool and others may be a little skittish about taking a dip. But it’s important for pool owners that are also dog owners to have some safety tips for pets and the pool. Aquaman Pools’ experts offer some tips.
Most everyone has seen a happy dog diving into the swimming pool to retrieve a ball or simply cool off. But is pool water safe for pets? And because the pool water is safe for humans, it should be safe enough for pets, right? Not always. According to the American Kennel Club, unlike humans, “Most canines, on the other hand, have ears and eyes that are more sensitive than the ears and eyes of their owner. This sensitivity makes dogs more susceptible to the dangers of chlorine.” And dogs with floppy ears may experience ear infections after swimming due to dampness, not necessarily chlorine.
In general the AKC says that the amount of chlorine in the pool is “negligible” and shouldn’t affect a pet if he takes a dip. The more prevalent danger would be if a pet ingested chlorine tablets. So those should always be kept out of “paws” reach where a pet can’t get into them.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on pets when they are in the water to ensure they aren’t using the pool water as a giant drinking bowl. Make sure they have fresh water to enjoy before and after they splash in. It’s also a good idea to rinse them off with fresh water after swimming to wash off any excess chemicals from the pool that could irritate their skin, ears or eyes. And dab their ears dry with a towel to reduce risk of that aforementioned infection.
For dogs that are hesitant around the pool or don’t know how to swim, owners should watch them with extreme caution to ensure they don’t accidentally fall in. And while it’s okay to introduce swim-skeptic dogs to the pool, it should be done carefully and gently. Pets shouldn’t be forced into the pool. Like with children, they should be shown a clear exit strategy should they fall in. Teaching pets to swim toward the steps and get out on their own is essential.
All in all, having pets join in on pool day is a fun and great way to bond with everyone in the family. Using a few safety tips and precautions, this can ensure Fido has a great time too.