Are Pool Chemicals Safe for Dogs?
Lots of pool owners allow and even encourage their dogs to swim in their in-ground pools. Dogs love to splash in the water especially when they see kids doing it too. They need a place to cool off just like humans on a hot summer day, so jumping in the pool seems like a harmless way to achieve that.
But are the chemicals used in pools safe for dogs? Well, if you use chlorine, the answer is maybe. This chemical is used for its effectiveness in keeping the water clear and healthy, preventing the growth of bacteria. It’s generally safe to swim in – even if you happen to swallow a teeny bit while horsing around. Adults and kids know to keep their mouths closed while swimming, but dogs don’t. That’s why they’re at an increased risk of ingesting too much water, and thus, chlorine.
Dangers of Chlorine Pools for Dogs
This in turn can lead to salt poisoning or an imbalance in electrolytes similar to what would happen if they swallowed a large amount of ocean water. Symptoms include vomiting and loose stools. Fresh water is always best for dogs. Get out the hose and encourage them to run through it. Fill a kiddie pool with water and let that be “their” pool. This way, they won’t be at risk of sickness if they swallow the water. At the very least, they could develop skin or eye irritation after swimming in a pool with chlorine – similar effects that can happen in humans. A dog’s ears, eyes and nose are much more sensitive to irritation from these effects than a human’s and may experience symptoms more readily.
Some pool and pet owners use bromine instead of chlorine which has been found to be less harmful to pets. But even if you still use chlorine, spray your dog off with the hose after she swims to get all the chemicals off – just to be on the safe side. Dry her ears in particular with a towel to prevent ear infections arising from moist conditions, especially if she has floppy ears.
Hydration is still key throughout the summer. Fresh water gives your dog the energy she needs to play, grow and thrive, but dehydration can set in fairly quickly if you’re not on top of it. The Dog Channel recommends keeping a fresh bowl of water nearby during the day so she can stay hydrated.
If your dog insists on hopping in the family pool, allow short bursts of play and keep an eye on her at all times. If she displays signs of sickness as mentioned above, contact her veterinarian right away.
Call Central Jersey Pools to schedule regular chemical balancing for your pool this summer.