Should Dogs Be Allowed In Swimming Pools?


It’s a 38 degree day and your best doggy mate Rufus is hot. Should your dog be allowed in the swimming pool?

Wet dog jumping into a swimming pool

Yes, it is safe for dogs to have a dip in a chlorinated or saltwater swimming pool provided the pool water is correctly balanced.

There is a lot of “do’s and don’ts” concerning dogs in the pool, but here I want to look at what happens to the chemical balance of the pool water when a dog swims in the pool. We’ll also look at what can you do to make sure the pool water is safe for you, your family and Rufus.

The pool maintenance pros say a dog in the pool is equal to 3 people or more in the water. In other words, your pool water will need to work harder if you allow your dog to swim in the pool. Here’s why:

Dog Hair and Dirt

Dog hair will shed in the pool water and end up in the skimmer and pump basket. Empty them regularly to solve this problem. Additional skimming the following day will also be of benefit, once the hair has settled.

Dogs will naturally bring additional dirt and oil from their skin into the water. This brings phosphates and affects the pH as well as using up the chlorine at a faster rate. You’ll need to adjust the pH and chlorine accordingly.

Dogs bring WHAT into the Pool?!

Unfortunately, dogs bring small particles of fecal matter into the pool. Even if you can’t see it, trust me, it’s there. This will contaminate the pool’s water however a well-maintained pool including keeping the correct water balance will minimise the risk of recreational water illnesses. Most people do not report any adverse effects from allowing their dog to swim in the pool.

Shock your Pool

After heavy use, it would be beneficial to shock your pool. Extra sanitisation and shocking will help restore pool water clarify. Click here for 7 Pro Pool Cleaning Tips including shocking your pool.

Is Chlorine Harmful To Dogs?

Puppy dog on pool float

By the way, lots of you are interested to know if the chlorine is harmful to dogs. Well for all you dog-loving pet owners who want to splash with Rufus, you’ll be happy to know pool water is safe for dogs in pool water that is correctly balanced. This goes for saltwater pools also. Use common sense here, if your dog has a skin condition, just like us, they’ll react differently and may have an adverse reaction to chlorinated water.

As you can see dogs in the pool will affect the pool’s water chemistry. However, with well-maintained pool water and a few additional adjustments to restore water clarity, pools are safe for dogs and people to share. Remember to supervise your dog in the pool at all times to avoid accidents. Happy swimming Rufus.

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Swimming Pool Water Testing – ensure your pool water is at the correct levels

Swimming Pool Chlorine – keep the pool water well chlorinated to ensure adequate sanitisation

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