Yes. It is typically not a problem for dogs to swim in chlorine pools. However, it is important that you take a few precautions before allowing your dog to swim in a chlorine pool:
1. Keep Fresh Water Nearby
Dogs will be tempted to drink water right out of the pool. A little bit of water will not hurt your dog, but too much chlorine can make your pup dehydrated and induce vomiting and diarrhea – a dangerous combination. Be sure to have a bowl of fresh water available for your dog to drink while they are swimming and afterwards. If you see your dog drinking pool water, stop them and give them fresh water to drink instead. It may take a little bit of time for your dog to learn, but they will prefer to drink fresh water over chlorinated water.
2. Rinse Your Dog Off Before & After
Chlorine can humans, and it can have a dogs have After your dog is done swimming, rinse them off with fresh water. This will help remove any chlorine that may be on your dog’s fur and skin. It’s also a good idea to give them a rinse before entering the pool. Chlorine more easily sticks to dry skin and fur, so a layer of freshwater will help create a barrier for your dog.
3. Invest in a dog life jacket
Whether or not your dog is a strong swimmer, it’s a good idea to invest in a life jacket. This will help keep your dog safe and afloat while swimming. Dogs can get overly tired while spending time in the pool, and they may not know how to or be able to physically get out of the pool when they are exhausted.
Getting a life jacket that fits well and is easily visible is important. We would recommend getting a life jacket in a bright color like yellow or orange.
4. Consider waiting until they are older
Like human babies, puppies have different ear canals than older dogs and are more susceptible to ear infections. Chlorinated water is much better than lake water for puppies, but ear infections can still occur. Talk with your vet to determine if your breed of dog is more susceptible to ear infections and whether you should wait until they are a bit older before taking them swimming.
3. Protect Their Paws
Chlorine can be harsh on your dog’s paws. Be sure to dry their paws off after swimming and apply a paw balm or petroleum jelly to help protect their pads. You may also want to consider getting dog booties to protect their feet (and your pool) while swimming.
4. Don’t Let Them Swim Too Much
While a little swimming is good for your dog, you don’t want them to overdo it. Dogs can get tired just like humans, so be sure to give them a break if they seem exhausted. If your dog starts to paddle with their head above water or seems to be having trouble swimming, pull them out of the pool immediately.
5. Keep pool chemicals away from your dog
Chlorine isn’t the only chemical used in pools – there are also other chemicals used to keep the water balanced. These chemicals can be harmful to dogs if they ingest them, so it’s important to keep your dog away from areas where these chemicals are stored. Be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when adding chemicals to your pool, and never mix different chemicals together. If you have any questions about whether a certain chemical is safe for dogs, ask your veterinarian or a professional pool company.
6. Visit the Vet
If you are concerned about your dog swimming in chlorine, or if they seem to be having any adverse effects, make sure to visit your veterinarian. They will be able to give you more specific advice and ensure that your dog is healthy and happy.
7. Avoid letting your dog drink pool water
While a little bit of chlorine won’t hurt your dog, it’s best to avoid letting them drink pool water altogether. Too much chlorine can make your pup sick and cause vomiting or diarrhea. If you’re not sure how your dog will react to swimming in a chlorine pool, be sure to keep a close eye on them the first few times. If you notice any signs of distress, such as coughing, difficulty breathing, or vomiting, remove them from the pool immediately and call your veterinarian.
8. Keep an eye on your dog
As with anything, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure how your dog will react to swimming in a chlorine pool, be sure to keep a close eye on them the first few times. If you notice any signs of distress, such as coughing, difficulty breathing, or excessive scratching, be sure to remove them from the pool immediately and consult your veterinarian.
It’s also a good idea to have a general understanding of your dog’s swimming ability. Some dogs are natural swimmers and will do just fine in a pool, while others may need a little help. If you’re not sure how your dog will fare, it’s best to start with short sessions and gradually increase the time they spend in the pool.
Maintain Proper Chlorine Levels
It is always important to make sure that the chlorine level in the pool is not too high, as this can irritate a dog’s skin and eyes. The amount of chlorine needed in a pool varies, so it’s important to test the levels regularly and adjust as needed. A professional pool company can help you make sure that the chlorine levels in your pool are safe for dogs.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your dog has a safe and enjoyable time swimming in your chlorine pool. Just remember to take things slowly at first, and always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. Happy swimming!
Prachya Singhto, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons