Should I Let My Dogs Swim in My New Pool?
Many new pool owners wonder if they should let dogs swim in the pool with them. They often worry about maintenance concerns and if the dog could mess up vinyl pool liners. In short, you can safely allow your dog in the pool if you want, but you may want to keep these maintenance and safety considerations in mind.
Dogs and Pool Maintenance
Many dogs shed like crazy during summer. Any time they get into the pool they will shed and fur, dirt, and other buildup will enter the water. Over time, this can turn into a maintenance pain. The filter may clog more easily and the water may look dirty if a dirty dog jumps in without a quick rinse. To keep these issues to a minimum, dog owners may want to practice some poolside rules with their pups.
Teach your dog to wait for your command before entering the pool. Some simple pool commands and boundaries will keep your pet safe and help you maintain the pool. Commands such as “stay,” “okay,” and “come” may help around the pool. After you create some ground rules, turn pre-swim time showering into a routine for your pup. Rinse off some of the fur and dirt beforehand to keep your pool water clean for everyone.
Dogs and Pool Damage
If you have a fiberglass or cement-lined pool, you dog will not cause damage. You can let them swim in these pools to their heart’s content without worry about damage. If you have a vinyl-lined pool, on the other hand, exercise some caution. A dog with well-groomed toenails and good pool habits will not likely cause damage, but a panicked dog who repeatedly scratches against walls and stairs may cause scratches and tears.
To reduce the risk of damage in a vinyl-lined pool, work with your dog to encourage a high level of comfort in the pool and always have a resting spot for your pet. Stairs and stationary floats may both help your dog maintain a state of relaxation and reduce the risk of damage.
Dogs and Pool Safety
Most dogs who love the water will naturally develop safety skills needed in the pool area. However, a certain level of risk will always exist – particularly in pools without easy-access stairs. Fence in your pool to keep dogs and small children out during unapproved times, and work with your dog to build water confidence before letting him or her play alongside the rest of the family.
During the hot summer days when the entire family heads outside for an afternoon of swimming, keep plenty of fresh water around the pool for your dog to drink. Dogs should not drink chlorinated or saltwater from pools. Encourage your dog to drink water outside of the pool and use the pool are only for swimming.
Use these insights to make an informed decision to let your dog(s) into your new pool or to find alternative swimming activities for water-loving dogs. With the right precautions, the pool can be a fun space for both families and their pets.