A Pool for the Pooch: Swimming Pools and Dogs

Pooches love the pool. You can’t get around that fact. You may as well give up now trying to keep them out. It may be an all or nothing leap of pure joy, or a misguided step that makes them realise what they’ve been missing out on. You can’t stop the inevitable: on those scorching days your dog be as addicted to the cool water as you.

A bit of dog-related etiquette won’t go astray this summer, but it’s also important you know how to maintain a pool environment that’ll be as safe for your pup as it is for the fam.

dog in pool

Train your dog to use the stairs

You may not always be around when your dog decides to take a splash. That’s why it’s so important to teach your four-footed friend how to enter – and more importantly to exit – the pool. Get your dog used to using the pool stairs by tempting them with treats to encourage them up each step.

Dogs do drown. Teaching them to use the stairs will prepare them for a calm exit should they tire of the water when you’re not around. That way you can avoid an easily preventable scenario with a little foresight.

Pool chemicals

You’ve got to keep your pool water balanced but what chemicals work best with your pup in the pool? Salt chlorine generators work wonders with dogs. They’re gentle on animals’ skin and produce only low levels of natural chlorine.

But don’t forget that dogs are tempted to drink from the pool’s edge and will be enticed to taste any chemical spills in and around your pool. Immediately clean up any chemical spills so your pooch doesn’t step in or lap up poisons on a hot day. Even simple skin contact, not to mention ingestion, of pool chemicals can cause severe symptoms in a dog.

On a hot summer’s day it’s hard to keep your dog from lapping at the pool water.  A giant, concrete-lined dish of water is too much temptation to pass up without other options available, so you should always have a bowl of fresh, cool water ready for your dog to enjoy on hot days. If it’s not there, it’s too tempting for them to drink from pool water laced with chemicals.

Make sure you deliver your pet straight to the vet if you think they’ve ingested pool chemicals. But even better, avoid any incidents by cleaning up even the smallest spills to avoid incident.

The best type of pool for your pup

In the past you may have tried and tested the inflatable pool in your backyard and quickly realised it won’t do. While your dog will be over the moon about a casual splash in paw-deep water, they can do incredibly damage to the inflatable material. Dog claws + vinyl = tears and punctures.

If you don’t want to ban the dog from the backyard every time you want to go for a splash, invest in a fibreglass or concrete pool. They provide solid and dependable surfaces that suffer little canine wear and tear.

Your dog can have an impact on the filter – but this just translates as a little more maintenance each week. Dogs are likely to shed hair and carry sand in the pool, but that might only mean more frequently backwashing and spraying the filter. And it kind of seems worth it once you see your pet’s pleasure in the pool.

Know what to do in case of trouble

Keep a plan handy advising you what to do if your pooch has an accident in the pool. Keep the number to your local emergency veterinarian handy in case of accidents, and be ready with appropriate safety devices to assist in getting them out of the water quickly.

Your dog is part of your family, so always be prepared. A little planning can make your new pool a joy for not only your family, but your pet as well.

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