Is it safe for a dog to swim in a chlorine pool?
It’s pool season, and dogs need to cool off as much as their humans do. But is it safe for a dog to swim in a chlorine pool? It is, but you need to follow some simple rules to keep your dog safe during and after water play.
Are dogs more sensitive than people to chlorine?
At the levels used to maintain pools, chlorine is most likely as safe for dogs as it is for people. Because dogs have a more acute sense of smell than humans, some people speculate that dogs may be more sensitive to the effects of chlorine in pools. There is no scientific evidence that dogs display a higher sensitivity to chlorine.
Should my dog drink pool water?
While it is true that some pools may be maintained at chlorination levels close to the maximum level (4 parts per million) allowed in drinking water, there are still some differences. Some products of chlorine, called chloramines, are formed when chlorine combines with compounds in skin, disinfectants, and body secretions. Chloramines are responsible for the characteristic pool smell, and they are also largely responsible for red, burning eyes and itchy skin after swimming. And chloramines stay in the water longer than chlorine.
Your dog will likely not become ill after drinking small amounts of pool water. However, it is best to discourage her from drinking pool water, and always keep clean, fresh water available.
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Will swimming after eating cause my dog to bloat?
If your dog is a deep-chested or large breed predisposed to stomach bloat and twisting, a serious condition, you should always limit exercise within an hour before to an hour after eating. Swimming does not appear to increase the risk of bloat over other forms of exercise.
Simple rules to keep your dog safe during and after water play
- Hose your dog off prior to letting him in the pool. This cuts down on dander that increases chloramines.
- Always monitor swim time, and use a dog life jacket if your dog is not a strong swimmer.
- Never force your dog to enter the pool.
- Limit drinking from the pool.
- Hose your dog off after swimming to avoid skin irritation. Be sure to dry his ears.
- Shampoo and condition your dog more frequently during swim season. Chlorine can dry out the skin and coat
- Keep chlorine tablets out of reach of dogs and children.
It’s safe for a dog to swim in a chlorine pool. Swimming is among the very best exercises for dogs of all breeds, activity levels, and ages. During the summer, it’s also a way to get your dog the exercise she needs while avoiding heat exhaustion. If you and your dog are lucky enough to have access to a dog-friendly pool, get out there and swim!
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