For a day of fun with your dog, come to Lenexa’s Tails on the Trails Pet Festival and Dog Swim on Saturday, 8/11 from 9am-1pm! You can browse pet vendors’ booths, participate in the pet talent show, let your pooch plunge into the dog swims, and watch demonstrations. We will also have a booth there with adoptable dogs for you to meet!
At the end of a long, hot summer, a dog swim party may be just the thing to bring back the joy of life to your dog. We have had a brief break from dangerous summer heat in Kansas City this week, but hot summer weather is sure to return. Our dogs are bored with early morning and late evening walks, and they’re ready for some serious day time play time. Lucky for them, dog swim party season is just around the corner.
Dog swim parties are a growing trend
A growing number of municipalities across the US are opening public pools to canine guests after the last human swimmers have toweled off and flip-flopped out of the park. And why not? Thousands of gallons of water will go straight down the drain at the end of the season. This water can be used one final time for family fun when the pool is opened to dogs. Cities use the proceeds to fund dog park improvements, rescue organizations, and more.
Dog swim party basics
Bring a friend. There’s something about water that brings dog joy bubbling to the surface. You will want to share the experience. If you don’t have a dog, you may want to go just to watch. Dog swim parties are that good.
Stay out of the water. Most public pools that host a dog party ask humans to stay out of the pool. The hosts permit wading up to the knees but discourage swimming with the dogs. These parties are popular and the pool will be quite crowded with rowdy dogs. Parks host these parties after the regular season. Park staff do not test and re-treat the water to appropriate levels for human swimmers. For this reason, disease-causing agents may not be eliminated from the water.
Pay careful attention on the pool decks. Dogs don’t know that the pool area isn’t a dog park. They will run wild on the pool decks. Slippery surfaces plus running dogs make a dangerous situation. Always watch out for the dogs, because they won’t always watch out for you. Consider leaving small children at home.
Keep your belongings on tables. At one pool party last year, we saw dogs urinate on at least three different backpacks.
Practice good swim safety with your dog. Watch your dog at all times. In a large pool filled with dogs, you may find it difficult to keep track of your dog’s location. Dogs may not be able to exit the pool in deeper areas. Be especially vigilant if your dog is swimming in water over her head. Like small children, dogs can panic in the water, and they may not alert you to their distress. Use a life vest if your dog is not a strong swimmer.
Where to find a dog swim party
Contact your local parks and recreation to find a dog swim party near you. These events are upcoming in the Kansas City Metro area:
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!