- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
In these hot summer months, everyone is looking for a way to cool off. A great option is backyard or community swimming pools, especially if they let our dogs swim with us.
Us humans are accustomed to the chemicals found at the local pool—but what about dogs and chlorine? We investigated whether the chlorine was safe for our treasured pets.
There’s a reason we chlorinate our pools: it keeps germs and microorganisms that can hurt us at bay. Chlorine can also help protect dogs from harmful things growing and living in standing water.
According to petMD, and other vets, the level of chlorine found in your swimming pool will not harm your dog if they decide to go for a swim. But there are a few issues to look for before letting your dog jump in with both feet. Below you’ll find advice for making sure your dog has a blast in the water.
How to Protect Your Dog While Swimming
1. Secure and store concentrated chemicals and pool cleaners out of reach of your pets. While dogs can tolerate the low levels of chlorine found in pools, they will need emergency attention if they get into your stash of cleaning products.
2. Properly maintain and clean your pool. Make sure you’re using the recommended levels of chemicals and cleaning regularly—a dirty pool of standing water could make you and your pets sick.
3. Rinse your dogs off after swimming. This will help limit their exposure to the chlorine and make sure their skin doesn’t become irritated. Carefully helping them dry their ears with a soft towel can also help prevent ear infections.
4. Watch out for signs of irritation or allergies including red eyes and coughing, and remove them from the pool if they start exhibiting any unusual symptoms. As long as your dog seems happy and healthy, don’t worry—they’re probably having a great time!
If your dog does seem to have an adverse reaction to chlorine (signs of irritation or allergies) you could provide them with a kiddie pool alternative. Especially during heat waves or peak summertime, your dog will appreciate any chance to cool off in the water.
What if My Dog Drinks From the Pool?
According to the CDC, chlorinated water is safe for both humans and dogs to drink in concentrations up to 4 milligrams per liter. The recommended level of chlorine in pools and tubs is 1-3 milligrams per liter, so your dog should be fine if they ingest some of the pool water.
But as you probably know, water chlorinated at pool-level concentrations doesn’t taste great. It’s best to make sure your dog has another water source that you encourage them to drink from—and remind them to lay off the pool water if they seem to have a taste for it.
Want to know more? We’ve got you covered on more pool safety tips, including advice about floatation devices, swimming, and dogs who are wary of the water. Make sure your pet knows how to swim. On our blog, you can also find more ways for you and your pet to enjoy summer, including a recipe for frozen cantaloupe treats and ideas for seasonal activities.
Featured Image: Flickr/DaPuglet Pugs