Swimming is a great way for humans to burn off excess energy, stay in shape and even shed some unwanted pounds. The same is true for dogs.And when the weather starts to get hot many humans want to take a dip in a pool to cool off. But is it safe to let your dog go in a pool?
Many dogs love water and will naturally romp into the ocean when at the beach or plunge into a lake, but pools have more issues for dogs because of the chemicals and safety concerns. However, that doesn’t mean your furry-friend can’t take a dip in the backyard family pool. Pet parents just need to take some precautions:
Chlorine alternatives -A dog's eyes, nose and ears are more sensitive than a human’s. Some pool owners opt for non-chlorine chemicals like bromine which may be less harmful to pets. If you choose to use chlorine just be sure to keep the pH level between 7.2 and 7.6 to maximize its effectiveness.
Rinse - The composition of the skin of a dog makes them susceptible to rashes, irritations, infections, and just about anything else we humans can get. Be sure to rinse off your dog after a swim or their skin could become dry and itchy. Their eyes are ears could also get irritated, so rinse the dog all over and be sure to dry them off.
Dog hair - If your dog sheds when it is not in the pool, it will be far worse in the pool. Keep your dog's coat trimmed short if they will be in the pool often and brush them out regularly. Besides the effect on the pool's water chemistry, the fur of a dog will get caught in the pool equipment, resulting in more frequent service and/or replacement of parts.
Trim nails - Dogs have sharp nails. When they are in the swimming pool with the kids (or anyone) their nails can be a hazard to swimmers. Keep those nails on the dog's paws trimmed.
Tread (water) lightly - Many dogs are fearful the first time they enter the water. Take it slowly and praise your dog each step of the way. Making it a pleasant experience will have the dog swimming in no time. Teach your dog to use the steps or ladder as their entry point so that they are not jumping into the pool.
Monitor your dog - Never leave your dog unsupervised in a pool. They may need your assistance if they are in trouble and can't bark to grab your attention.
Have a plan - Think ahead about what you’d do if you had to rescue a pet from the water.Consider bringing a human life jacket so that there’s one less thing to worry about in the heat of the moment. Know the location of the nearest emergency vet, and have a well-stocked pet and human first-aid kit nearby the pool.