Five Tips for Swimming with Your Dog

Dogs love water! If you have a swimming pool, your dog is going to want to swim. Should you let them? The short answer is that assuming your pool is properly balanced (especially the sanitizer – whether bleach or salt), there’s nothing wrong with allowing your dog in the pool. Here are some ways you can make swimming safer and more healthy for your dog and the entire family.

Tip #1: Keep your pool balanced

Dogs put a big organic load on your pool. In many ways, dogs are very similar to humans – too much chlorine or a pH that is way out of line can cause skin irritation and red eyes. But there are other concerns, too. Their eyes, nose and ears are more sensitive to the effects of chlorine. To keep your dog healthy, it’s best to keep your chemicals near their goal. Keep your Free Chlorine near 3.0 ppm, your pH near 7.5 and your alkalinity near 100 to ensure a pool that’s healthy for your dog. You can use test strips to measure the various chemicals of your pool, and then enter your readings into the Pool Calculator to learn how to get your chemicals in balance.

Tip #2: Keep fresh drinking water available

If left to their own means, dogs will often treat the swimming pool as a big water dish. Drinking chlorinated pool water (although typically not dangerous) can cause short term health problems for your dog if it drinks too much. Provide a better alternative by keeping fresh water bowl handy by the pool. Train your dog to drink from the water bowl rather than the pool.

Tip #3: Use Pool Toys

Swimming is a great form of exercise for dogs. Some dogs are natural swimmers that need no encouragement to doggy paddle across every square foot of the pool. Other dogs need some encouragement. It’s a good idea to use a separate pool toy for swimming than those used in the house or yard. Playing fetch is a sure way to get your pup paddling like a pro!

Tip #4: Make it easy for your dog to exit the pool.

It’s easier for a dog to get into a pool than to get out. There’s a wide range of ways to ways to do this. If your pool doesn’t have steps that help the dog, take a look at a skamper ramp and train your dog how to use. It can also be helpful to place a potted plant or other marker to indicate where the pool exit is for your dog.

Tip #5: Rinse your dog off after a swim

Pool chemicals can cause additional irritability for your dog if allowed to dry. Take the time to rinse them with fresh water, and dry your dog’s ears with a towel when they are done. This should reduce the amount of itching and the risk or ear infections. Using shampoo can further reduce risk of irritation from chemicals. We recommend a shampoo with avocado oil.

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