Every summer dog and pool owners want to know can dogs swim in chlorine pools.
The short answer is, “Yes!”
But there are some safety and maintenance tips that you should keep in mind.
Safety Tips When Dogs Swim the Pool
You want your swimming pool to be a source of fun and exercise for your entire family. Therefore, it’s only natural that you want to include the family dog.
Here are 7 simple tips that can keep the swimming pool experience fun for everyone.
Supervise Your Dog Around the Pool
You would never let small children play around your pool without supervision.
You should use the same standard with your dog.
Just like a child could fall into a pool and panic, the same could happen with your dog.
Even a dog who knows how to swim may have trouble finding a way to get out of the pool.
Not All Dogs Can Swim Well
Contrary to what you may think, not all dogs are natural swimmers.
Here are some of the breeds that are poor swimmers (listed in alphabetical order):
- Basset Hound
- Bull Terrier
- Chow Chow
- French Bulldog
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Scottish Terrier
- Shar Pei
- Shih Tzu
A characteristic that many of these poor swimming breeds share is they have short legs and short snouts.
Breeds That Can Swim Well
- American Water Spaniel
- Boykin Spaniel
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Curly-Coated Retriever
- English Setter
- Golden Retriever
- Irish Setter
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Labrador Retriever
- Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Standard Poodle
Keep in mind, just because a breed can swim well does not mean that YOUR dog will want to swim.
This is especially true for puppies that are seeing a pool for the first time.
For example, see how nervous this puppy is at first. But then he falls in and quickly figures out how to swim.
This pup was never in danger because a human was in the pool and prepared to help him if needed.
You should never force a dog to swim. Related to this, never throw a dog into the pool.
There are better ways to coax a reluctant pup into the water. One very successful method is to throw a favorite toy into the pool.
Another trick you can try is for the pup’s favorite human to already be in the water. Often this will be enough to get the pup to dive in.
Drinking Pool Water
Your dog may think the swimming pool is just an over-sized drinking bowl.
You will want to discourage your dog from drinking pool water.
Drinking too much pool water can lead to problems such as nausea, vomiting, and esophageal damage.
The truth is, this is not likely to happen, but still worth paying attention to.
A simple solution is to always have a water bowl filled with fresh water near the pool. When you see that your dog is thirsty, direct her to drink from her bowl.
If like most pool owners you use chlorine, it’s possible your dog will experience some skin or eye irritation.
Most of the time this is not a significant problem.
One thing you can do is be sure to rinse off your dog with fresh water after each swimming session.
However, if irritation continues to be a problem, then you could look into using non-chlorine chemicals such as bromine tablets to sanitize your pool.
As you would expect, there are pros and cons to both chlorine and bromine. You’ll need to do some homework before switching!
Whether you use chlorine or bromine, be sure to store the unused tablets away from kids and pets.
It’s best to keep them in their original container and in a cabinet that cannot be easily opened.
Flea and Tick Collars in the Pool?
Do you need to remove your pup’s flea and tick collar before swimming?
In my research, most of the flea and tick collars claim they are water resistant. In my mind, being “water resistant” doesn’t make it clear if it can be worn in the pool.
The Hartz UltraGuard Plus shown above states clearly on the package, “Wetting will not impair the collar’s effectiveness or the pet’s protection. If the pet goes swimming or is out in the rain it is not necessary to remove the collar.”
Swimming Pool Maintenance
There are those who claim that having 1 dog in your pool is the same as having 3 more people in the pool.
Dog Hair and Grit
As you well know, your dog can be a grubby critter. And that dirt and loose hair can all end up in your swimming pool.
You can minimize the amount of grub your dog brings into the pool by rinsing him off before a swim.
It can also be a good idea to brush your dog and remove as much loose hair and dirt as possible.
Keeping it Clean
Having your dog swim in the pool means you will need to pay a bit more attention to pool cleanliness and maintenance.
Keep a close eye on the chemical balance.
You may also find that your pool filter needs to be replaced more frequently.
Periodically check all of your equipment and toys to make sure they haven’t been damaged.
Your dog uses her feet and claws to get traction to climb out of the pool.
Even just swimming in the pool could mean that her claws will scrape on the sides of the pool.
Therefore, if you have a pool with a plastic or vinyl lining you probably don’t want to let your dog into it.
Alternatively, you could try having your dog wear boots.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Swim in Chlorine Pools?
I hope this article has answered all the questions you have about letting your dog swim in your pool. By keeping these ideas in mind your family and your dog can enjoy swimming all summer.