HomeFiberglass PoolsDogs in Pools: What You Need To Know

Dogs in Pools: What You Need To Know

Dogs in pools are a common sight, as many breeds possess a natural affinity for water and an eager inclination to swim. The combination of physical enjoyment and relief from the heat makes pools an enticing option for our canine companions. This aquatic activity is enjoyed by thousands of dogs worldwide, prompting pet owners to consider if they should allow their pets to join in the fun. This detailed guide delves into the advantages, safety measures, and optimal practices for creating dog-friendly pool experiences.

Assessing Pool Safety

Is It Safe for Dogs to Swim in Pools?

Allowing dogs in the pool is not without its challenges. It requires diligent supervision and constant awareness of the risks involved. Safety should always be a priority:

  1. Supervision: Always supervise your dog while they are in or around the pool. Not all dogs are natural swimmers, and even experienced swimmers can get into trouble if they become tired or disoriented.
  2. Teach Them to Exit: Train your dog to find and use the pool exit, such as steps or a ramp, to ensure they can get out safely whenever they need to.
  3. Rinse Off: Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming to remove chlorine or salt, which can dry out their skin and fur.
  4. Drinking Water: Ensure your dog has access to fresh drinking water to discourage them from drinking pool water, which contains chemicals like chlorine that can upset their stomach.
  5. Ear Care: Dry your dog's ears thoroughly after swimming to prevent ear infections, especially in breeds with floppy ears.
  6. Health and Age Considerations: Consider your dog's health and age. Older dogs, puppies, or dogs with health issues may have different needs and tolerances for exercise and swimming.
  7. Life Vest: For dogs that are not strong swimmers or for added safety, consider using a dog life vest.

Pool Water & Dog's Health

A properly maintained swimming pool does not pose significant threats to a dog's health. However, certain precautions must be taken:

  • Water Ingestion: Dogs may lap up pool water, leading to gastrointestinal issues or even a severe condition called water intoxication. Monitoring and prevention are crucial.
  • Skin Irritation: Regular rinsing and inspection of the skin can help prevent irritation and dryness caused by pool chemicals.

Impact of Dogs in Pools

Effect on Water and Filtration

Dogs in pools bring more than just joy and companionship; they also bring hair, dirt, pollen, and possible contaminants. It’s been observed that one dog in a pool can have the same effect on water quality as three humans.

Maintaining Balance

  • Filtration System: Regular inspection and cleaning to handle the additional load from your dog's debris.
  • Chemical Balance: Keeping an eye on chemical levels to make sure your pool stays in perfect swimming condition.

Mitigating the Impact of Dogs in Pools: Proper Grooming and Pool Maintenance

To reduce the impact of dogs in pools:

  • Regular Grooming: This includes trimming nails, brushing coats, and bathing to minimize debris.
  • Pre-Swim Rinse: A simple rinse before entering the pool can greatly reduce contamination.
  • Pool Equipment Maintenance: Regular cleaning and balance checks will keep the pool safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Swimming Pool Safety for Dogs: Best Practices

Understanding your dog’s swimming ability and comfort levels are key. Some best practices include:

  • Assisted Entry and Exit: Make entry and exit easy for dogs, considering a beach or shelf entry if possible.
  • Consider Your Pool’s Lining: Dogs' nails can damage certain types of lining, so be mindful of this when allowing them to swim.
  • Utilize a Safety Cover: Ensure that you are using safety covers, not floating ones, to prevent any tragic accidents.

Foldable Dog Pools: A Viable Alternative

For those who may have reservations about allowing their dog into the family pool or who want to provide a controlled environment tailored specifically to their pet, foldable dog pools present a remarkable solution. These portable, dog-friendly pools are designed with the canine's needs in mind, offering a contained space for splashing, playing, or cooling off. Made with durable materials to withstand claws and often equipped with non-slip surfaces for added safety, foldable dog pools provide an affordable and convenient option. They can be easily set up and stored, making them an attractive alternative for dog owners.

By opting for a foldable dog pool, you maintain complete control over the water quality, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for your pet, without affecting the maintenance or quality of your family swimming pool. This innovation has allowed thousands of dog owners to let their pets enjoy the thrill of water, aligning with both safety considerations and the natural instincts of the dog.


Dogs in the swimming pool can be an enriching experience for both pets and owners. The key is understanding the challenges and taking the necessary steps to mitigate risks. With proper care, supervision, and maintenance, you can create a safe and enjoyable swimming environment for your canine friend, turning your pool into a place of shared joy and recreation.

FAQs: Is It OK for Dogs to go in Pools

Is Chlorine Bad for Dog's Eyes?

Chlorine, commonly found in swimming pool water, can be irritating to a dog's eyes, as well as to human eyes. When dogs swim in chlorinated pools, they may experience eye irritation. Symptoms of chlorine irritation in dogs can include redness, tearing, and discomfort. While chlorine levels in pools are generally safe for swimmers, including dogs, some animals may be more sensitive to chlorine and its effects.

To minimize the risk of eye irritation from chlorine for your dog:

  • Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming in a chlorinated pool to help remove any residual chlorine from their fur and around their eyes.
  • If your dog shows signs of significant eye irritation, consult with a veterinarian. They may recommend eye drops or other treatments to alleviate the discomfort.
  • Consider using dog goggles designed for swimming to protect your dog's eyes if they are particularly sensitive or if they swim frequently.

It's important to monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or irritation after swimming in a chlorinated pool and to take appropriate steps to mitigate any adverse effects.

Why Do Dogs Drink Pool Water?

Dogs may drink pool water for a few reasons, even though it's not the best source of hydration for them. Here are some common reasons why dogs might drink from a pool:

  1. Thirst: The most straightforward reason is thirst. If dogs are playing outside and they're hot or thirsty, they might see the pool as a convenient water source.
  2. Curiosity: Dogs are naturally curious animals and often explore their environment with their mouths. They might sip from a pool out of curiosity, especially if they see humans and other animals in the water.
  3. Preference for Cool Water: On a hot day, the pool water might be cooler and more refreshing than their regular water bowl, especially if the water in their bowl has been sitting out in the sun.
  4. Habit: Some dogs may develop a habit of drinking from certain sources, including pools, if they've found the water to their liking in the past.
  5. Instinctual Behavior: Dogs, like many animals, are instinctively drawn to bodies of water. This instinct can drive them to drink from a pool, even when other water sources are available.

While occasional sips of chlorinated pool water may not harm a dog, drinking large amounts can be unhealthy. Pool water contains chemicals like chlorine, which can lead to stomach upset, and potentially more serious health issues if consumed in large quantities. It's important to ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean drinking water at all times and to discourage them from drinking pool water as much as possible. If a dog is observed drinking pool water frequently or in large amounts, it's advisable to consult a veterinarian to discuss the potential health risks and to ensure the dog's hydration needs are being met adequately.

Can Dogs Swim in Saltwater Pools?

Yes, dogs can swim in saltwater pools, and many may find it a more enjoyable experience compared to traditional chlorinated pools. Saltwater pools use salt chlorination systems to clean and sanitize the water, producing chlorine from salt (sodium chloride). This process results in lower levels of chlorine and other chemicals compared to traditional pools, which can be gentler on a dog's skin, eyes, and coat.

Here are a few considerations for allowing dogs to swim in saltwater pools:

  1. Skin and Coat Health: The lower chlorine levels in saltwater pools are less likely to cause skin irritation or dryness for dogs. However, it's still a good idea to rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming to remove any salt or chlorine residues.
  2. Drinking Pool Water: While saltwater pools have less chlorine, the water does contain salt, which is not good for dogs to ingest in large quantities. Encourage your dog to drink fresh water before and after swimming to minimize the amount of pool water they ingest.
  3. Safety and Supervision: As with any swimming activity, always supervise your dog closely while they're in the pool. Ensure they have easy access to enter and exit the pool safely. Consider using a life vest for dogs that are not strong swimmers or are new to swimming.
  4. Pool Maintenance: Dogs can introduce more dirt, fur, and other materials into the pool, which may affect water quality. Regular pool maintenance is essential to keep the water clean and safe for both humans and pets.
  5. Health Considerations: If your dog has open wounds, skin conditions, or health issues, consult your veterinarian before allowing them to swim in a pool. Swimming might not be suitable for all dogs, especially those with certain health concerns.
  6. Enjoyment and Exercise: Swimming can be an excellent form of low-impact exercise for dogs, helping them stay fit and cool, especially on hot days. Many dogs enjoy water and will benefit from the physical and mental stimulation swimming provides.

In conclusion, saltwater pools can be a safer and more enjoyable option for dogs compared to traditional chlorinated pools, but it's important to take appropriate precautions to ensure a positive experience.

Is Dog Hair Bad for Pool Filter?

Dog hair can indeed pose challenges for pool filters. When dogs swim in a pool, they shed fur, which can then be sucked into the pool's filtration system. Here are some of the ways dog hair can affect a pool filter:

  1. Clogging: Dog hair can clog filters, skimmer baskets, and pump baskets, reducing the efficiency of the pool's filtration system. This can lead to poor water circulation and filtration, requiring more frequent cleaning and maintenance.
  2. Strain on the Pump: A clogged filter forces the pool pump to work harder to circulate water. This increased strain can reduce the pump's lifespan and lead to higher energy consumption.
  3. Water Quality: An inefficient filtration system struggles to remove contaminants from the water, potentially leading to water quality issues such as cloudiness, algae growth, and imbalances in chemical levels.

To mitigate these issues and maintain a healthy pool environment, pool owners can take several steps:

  • Increase Maintenance: Regularly check and clean skimmer baskets, pump baskets, and filters to remove dog hair and other debris. This may need to be done more frequently if dogs use the pool often.
  • Use a Pool Cover: When the pool is not in use, covering it can help prevent dog hair (and other debris) from entering the pool in the first place.
  • Pre-Swim Rinsing: Rinsing dogs off before they enter the pool can help reduce the amount of hair and dirt that gets into the water.
  • Consider a Secondary Filter: Some pool owners install an additional filtration system, such as a leaf canister or a fine mesh bag, to catch dog hair before it reaches the main filter.
  • Professional Maintenance: Consulting with a pool maintenance professional can provide personalized advice and solutions to manage pet hair and maintain pool health effectively.

While dog hair in the pool requires additional maintenance, proper care and precautions can help manage these challenges, allowing dogs and their owners to enjoy the pool together safely.

Should I Wash My Dog After Swimming In The Pool?

Yes, it's a good idea to wash your dog after swimming in a pool, whether it's a chlorinated or saltwater pool. Here are the reasons to wash your dog after pool swimming:

  1. Chemical Residue: Pools contain chemicals like chlorine or salt, which can dry out or irritate your dog's skin and coat. Rinsing off these residues helps prevent skin irritation and discomfort.
  2. Skin and Coat Health: Besides removing chemicals, washing can help remove any other contaminants your dog might have picked up in the pool, such as dirt or algae.
  3. Prevent Ear Infections: Dogs are prone to ear infections, especially breeds with floppy ears. Drying your dog's ears thoroughly after swimming and washing can help prevent infections.
  4. Comfort: Chlorine and other pool chemicals can leave a residue on your dog's fur, making it feel stiff or sticky. A good rinse can keep their coat feeling soft and clean.

How to Wash Your Dog After Swimming

  1. Rinse Thoroughly: Use fresh, clean water to rinse your dog thoroughly after they get out of the pool. Make sure to rinse all areas, including the belly and under the legs, where chemicals might accumulate.
  2. Use a Gentle Dog Shampoo: If your dog swims frequently and you need to shampoo rather than just rinse, choose a gentle, dog-specific shampoo. This will help remove any remaining chemicals without stripping natural oils from their skin and coat.
  3. Dry Properly: Ensure you dry your dog well after washing, especially the ears. Moisture in the ears can lead to infections. Use a towel or a low-heat hairdryer (if your dog tolerates it) to dry them off.
  4. Clean the Ears: For dogs prone to ear infections or those with floppy ears, consider using a vet-recommended ear cleaner after swimming. This can help remove any trapped water or debris and maintain ear health.
  5. Fresh Water Availability: Make sure your dog has access to fresh drinking water before and after swimming. This helps prevent them from drinking pool water, which contains chemicals that can be harmful if ingested in large amounts.

Regular post-swim care is essential for maintaining your dog's health and happiness, especially if they're frequent swimmers. Taking these steps after each swim session can help ensure your pet remains comfortable, healthy, and ready for their next aquatic adventure.

Jan Stevens
Jan Stevens
Jan Stevens is an industry expert with over a decade of experience in the fiberglass pools sector. His authoritative insights are based on real-world experiences and a strategic mindset, making him a valuable contributor to the field and an esteemed author for our website.




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