If your dog likes water, you might have a hard time keeping him out of your indoor swimming pool.
Swimming can be a fun activity to share with your pet. But you need to pay attention to the chemicals you use, to keep your pool water safe and clean.
You should know that you can use shock treatments that don’t contain chlorine. This chemical has been linked to cancer in humans. So it’s probably not safe for your dog either.
Dogs in Chlorine Pools
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Chlorinated pool water is bad for dogs, and for people as well. One study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that people who swam in indoor pools had an increased overall risk of bladder cancer.
This appears to be due to compounds called disinfection by-products, which form when chlorine comes in contact with sweat, urine and other bodily fluids. These compounds are highly toxic.
Swimming is an excellent way to exercise your dog, although fresh or salt water is always preferable to pool water. One way to potentially get around the issue of chlorine is to use a non-chlorine shock treatment to keep your pool clean.
I’m not a chemist. So I don’t know for sure that non chlorine pool shock products don’t contain other chemicals that are potentially harmful. But we do know that many holistic healers consider chlorine to be a health hazard. So I’m throwing this out there as a potential option to chlorine shock formulas.
How to Prevent Dog Drowning
Pool chemicals aren’t the only potential hazard for your dog. Drowning is also a risk. We tend to think of dogs as good swimmers. But they may not be able to exit the pool, and can become exhausted while treading water.
I don’t think there are any good statistics on the number of dog drownings per year. But they do happen. A quick Google search brings up many pages of tragedies.
You may want to consider pool gates, fences and barriers. Just as you would use with small children. You can find dog life vests. But these are not foolproof. So they’re not a substitute for supervision.
Dogs should never swim unattended, especially in a pool. Although they shouldn’t have any trouble treading water, climbing out of the pool may present an obstacle. Your pet may be hesitant to use a ladder and may keep paddling until the point of exhaustion. This is why a dog should never be left alone near a pool either.
Do Dogs Get Swimmer’s Ears?
No matter where your dog swims, make sure to carefully dry his ears. Floppy-eared dogs such as Cocker Spaniels are already prone to developing yeast infections, regardless of whether they take a dip in the pool.
One more concern is your dog’s fur. Pool chemicals, as well as sun, sand and surf, can dry your dog’s skin and coat. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors in the summer, you may want to think about a coat conditioner.
Vet’s Best Moisture Mist Conditioner for Dogs contains plant-based ingredients and other natural compounds to moisturize your dog’s skin and coat after they’ve been exposed to the elements.