Paws & Pools
Helpful Tips for Dog Owners
As the outside temperature heads toward triple-digits, everyone in the family looks forward to splashing in a cool pool, and our furry pets are no exception. Whether your dog loves the water or wants nothing to do with it, we have a few tips to help keep your pet safe and your pool sparkly.
Pets vs Chemicals?
Surprisingly, there isn’t much research available on the effects of dogs on pool maintenance, nor the effects of pool chemicals on dogs. Both salt-chlorine generators and traditional chlorine-based pools seem to be perfectly ok for pets. The levels of chlorine in a properly maintained pool are perfect for keeping microorganisms at bay and keeping the water sanitary, but are diluted enough not to be dangerous for pets or people. Of course, dogs, like people, can have sensitivities, allergies, or asthma – check with your vet if you notice symptoms in your pet after swimming.
Pets vs Maintenance?
If your dog just can’t stay out of the water, you may notice that the pH balance doesn’t last as long. More frequent water testing will help you stay on top of the balancing act. Dog hair does cause some work for the filter, especially if your dog sheds a lot – skim the surface, empty the skimmer basket regularly, spray off filters, or backwash to clean out as needed. (As a side note, our blog author has a water-loving dog who won’t stay out of the pool, even in the winter. The family notes that they do need to check the pool bottom for rocks that have been knocked in from the nearby landscaping.)
It’s a matter of common sense, but pool safety applies to pets and people alike. Pool chemicals need to be stored properly – labeled in original containers, kept out of reach of children or pets. Chlorine fumes (gas) can burn eyes, noses, throats ,and lungs, so keep those chemicals in a well-ventilated area. Additionally, when you’re adding chemicals to the pool, keep your pets indoors until you are finished. Once your pool is swim-ready, the next safety step is to make sure your dog knows how to swim and has a way to get out of the pool! Dogs may instinctively paddle, but they also may panic or get too tired to reach the steps or edge safely. Like children, they need supervision. If your pet is not comfortable around water or spends a lot of time outdoors without you, consider installing a pool fence for an added layer of safety.
Enjoy the summer!
Our pets are family, and good pool safety and maintenance practices will keep everyone happy. As always, we encourage you to get outside and make a splash.
Quick Tips for Paws & Pools
- Keep pool chemicals away from dogs & children
- Keep pool chemicals in a well-ventilated area
- Test the water frequently
- Adjust chemicals as needed
- Check the skimmer basket & spray off filters or backwash as needed
- Teach your pets & children how to exit the pool safely
- Supervise all swimmers, furry or not