Should My Dog Be Allowed to Swim in the Pool?

Tex in PoolWhile the sight of a dog taking a dive in the family pool is an adorable one that few pet owners can resist indulging in, Hop Cassidy Pools would like you to consider that there may be a few things to consider next time you let Fido share the water.

First, a medium size dog is equal to three humans in terms of the dirt, insects, body oils and who knows what else they carry on their fur. And do not overlook the amount of fur they shed in your home. They will shed even more in the water! This and the debris from Fido’s skin can contribute to higher pollution levels in your pool, which will lead to higher maintenance costs over time. Your filter may not be equipped to handle a lot of added hair and dirt, and chlorine tablets and other chemicals can become costly if you have to buy them in excess. Human ingestion of some of the bacteria that can be harbored in a dog’s fur can cause very serious illness. Normally we do not have to worry about catching these ailments, as very few people try to lick a dog. But in the pool, bacteria are swept away by the water and straight into our eyes, ears and noses.

Second, your dog’s skin composition is very similar to our own. They can get rashes, irritations, infections, and just about anything else that can afflict human skin. Be sure to always rinse your dog’s skin and fur with clean water after swimming, and do not be surprised if they develop the same red eyes after swimming as we do when we are in the water.

Third, for your dog’s safety, please be sure that they are proficient swimmers. Some dogs are born with an instinctual desire to paddle for hours in the water, while others avoid even the shallow end at all costs. Allowing a dog who does not know how to swim and get itself out of the water on its own is dangerous both for the animal and for your family. Take proper precautions and never force your dog (or cat) to take a swim. If they are comfortable trying out the pool, they will get in of their own accord.

Finally, most pools are a closed system, which is a fancy way of saying that the water in your pool passes through the piping system, through the filtration system, and ends up back in your pool. In hot climates, residential pools must turn over their water once every 24 hours to maintain the minimum sanitation required for humans to swim without having to rely on very heavy chemicals to clean the water. While installing a variable speed pump in your pool will help keep the water fresh, this can be costly. If Fido wants to take a dip, you will have to be extra vigilant in keeping the water clean and clear of debris. Emptying your skimmer basket and installing large capacity cartridge filters will help trap most of your pet’s hair and keep the surface more manageable.

Aside from making sure you and your entire family, including your pets, stay safe in the water, the most important action you will need to take after letting your dog swim is to clean the pool thoroughly. There is nothing wrong with letting your pup escape the heat and enjoy the refreshing waves, but be sure to always supervise pets and children in the pool and clean up afterwards. Hop Cassidy Pools has more than 25 years of experience building luxury pools in the Phoenix area. If you are interested in a new pool or in remodeling your existing pool, contact us for a free quote or call us at (480) 905-8780.

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