Should I Let My Dog in My Swimming Pool?
It’s no secret that dogs love to swim. If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you may be tempted to let your pet in on your backyard fun. Before you do that though, you need to understand the risks and maintenance issues that come with dogs in swimming pools so you can be prepared for the future. The information below answers the age-old question of “Should I let my dog in my swimming pool?”
Dog Shedding and Your Filtration System
Different breeds of dogs have different levels of shedding based on where they originate from and how their bodies respond to warmer weather. If you know that your dog sheds heavily, you need to think about the amount of work that shedding will put on your pool’s filtration system. Even if you have a pool cover to keep leaves and other debris out of the pool while not in use, your dog’s fur is going to quickly pile up in the filter while he or she is swimming with you. Dog hair is finer and harder to control than leaves and other debris, so it may clog your filters more quickly than other particles.
Also keep in mind that you may come out of the pool with dog hair on your body if your dog sheds in the water. This may not be appealing to your guests or family members. If you still want to have your dog with you in the pool, try to brush him or her before allowing your pet in the water to reduce the amount of shedding that happens in the pool.
Drowning Risks for Dogs
Most people think that dogs naturally know how to swim, but that is not always the case. Most dogs need some training to fully understand how to swim safely in the pool. If you have a puppy or a senior dog, his or her muscles may not be fully prepared to swim on their own. This could put your dog at risk of drowning in the water, especially if you are not around to watch him or her in the pool. Think about your dog’s physical abilities before allowing him or her to take a swim.
Tagalongs for Dog Fur
Not only do you have to worry about your dog’s fur getting into the water, but you also have to worry about anything that may be trapped between the fibers of the fur coat. Fleas, ticks, and other bugs can easily latch onto your pet, in addition to the dirt and burrs that may be trapped in the fur. As we suggested above, you may want to brush your dog or rinse him with a hose before allowing him into the pool water, to keep contaminates to a minimum.
Kiddie Pools – The Safe Alternative
Your dog can enjoy some fun in the water without jumping directly into your swimming pool. Get a $15 kiddie pool to put in your backyard and fill it up for your dog to play in. You shouldn’t have to worry about drowning at this point because of how shallow the water is. If you have a small breed dog, like a Chihuahua or a dachshund, you may want to keep the water level lower than normal because of how low your pet’s head is to the ground. When you get done playing for the day, you can rinse out the pool and all the hair that got trapped in it.
Keep all of the information above in mind, and you should be able to have plenty of fun with your dog this summer.