In the South Carolina heat, little feels better than cooling off in a refreshing pool at the end of the day. If you’re headed out for an afternoon dip, it’s possible your dog may want to join you – but is it safe? Can dogs swim in pools with chlorine?
Are Chlorine Pools Safe for Dogs?
In general, yes, dogs can swim in any type of well-maintained pool, whether it’s chlorine or saltwater. Chlorine levels in an average pool remain at non-toxic levels and are perfectly safe for the occasional cool-down session.
However, the real danger comes in when too much concentrated chlorine is ingested. If you own a pool, be sure to store the chlorine tablets in an area that your pooch can’t reach. Ingesting the tablets can be toxic to your pet.
As a precaution, other non-chlorine chemicals, such as Bromine, are available to help maintain your pool. Bromine is typically safer for pets and still keeps your pool clean. However, before switching to a different type of chemical, first speak with a pool specialist who can help you make the right decision for your particular pool.
Safety Tips for Summertime Swimming
Make sure your furry friend doesn’t mistake the pristine, blue water for his water bowl. Lapping up pool water can lead to gastrointestinal upset, nausea, vomiting or esophageal damage. Water intoxication may occur if an excessive amount of water is ingested.
Always supervise your four-legged friend and consider keeping a fresh water bowl nearby so he can easily access it when thirsty.
Watch for Skin Irritation and Ear Infections
Just as pool chemicals can irritate our skin, so too can they irritate our pet’s skin. Prolonged exposure to chlorine may dry out your furry friend’s coating and make him uncomfortable.
After a dip in the pool, rinse your dog’s fur with the hose or bath water to remove excess chemicals. If you notice your pet’s skin becoming flaky, red or otherwise irritated, contact your veterinarian.
Sustained dampness also has the potential of giving your pooch an ear infection. Always have a towel on hand to dry out the inside of your dog’s ears after his pool excursion to prevent infection.
Provide an Easy Exit Route
While dogs can easily take a running leap into the pool, they sometimes have a more challenging time getting out. The first time your pooch enters a new pool, make sure to go in with him and show him where the stairs are located. Practice leaving the pool with a toy or treat, so when Fido is ready to get out, he can easily find the exit himself.
This is incredibly important, because a dog that can’t find his exit route may start to panic and thrash around, which could ultimately lead to drowning.
Avoid Floating Pool Covers
Unsupervised children or pets may easily drown under floating pool covers. Instead, use safety pool covers to prevent any accidents.
With the proper precautions, dogs can safely and happily enjoy a nice swim in the pool during summer’s hottest months to cool off and relax.
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