If you are lucky enough to have your own swimming pool or hot tub at home or have friends or family that do then, on a hot day you might find your dog taking a drink of the water.
But, is this a safe thing for a dog to do?
If your chlorine levels are at the right amount then a small amount of pool water is unlikely to cause your dog problems. However, you should not encourage your dog to drink water from the pool and you should make sure that fresh water is available for him to drink. It’s worth noting that hot tubs are notoriously dirty and have higher chemical levels so try to keep him away from them.
What happens if a dog drinks too much pool water?
Most pools are treated with chlorine which is a powerful disinfectant and which is used to kill bacteria from the air and from the bodies of the people that use the pool.
Chlorine is a dangerous and potent chemical and, whereas the levels of chlorine used to treat a pool are in parts per million, if pool water is consumed in large quantities then it can cause problems.
A dog that drinks too much pool water is likely to vomit the water up and this is the most common reaction.
In some cases your dog could end up with diarrhea, could urinate more and, in the worse scenario, could end up needing veterinary treatment.
What about saltwater swimming pools?
There is a common misconception that salt water swimming pools are purely saltwater.
A correctly operated saltwater pool will be treated with chlorine as saltwater, on it’s own, has poor disinfection qualities and will not destroy bacteria – so chlorine is added.
Saltwater will also result in your dog vomiting if he drinks too much, he may also use the toilet more frequently and could have diarrhea as well.
How do I stop my dog from drinking pool water?
If your dog swims in the pool then he is bound to ingest some of the water.
If your dog is just going to the pool for a drink then you should provide him with an alternative, a supply of fresh, safe drinking water.
Keep him away from the pool when he is hot, such as after a walk and make sure that he has a big drink of fresh water.
If your dog simply enjoys the pool then maybe you could provide him with an alternative, such as a dog paddling pool, where he can get in and enjoy himself.
Important point on dogs and pools
Every year dogs drown in swimming pools either from falling in or from becoming exhausted and being unable to get out.
Just as you should with your children, do not allow your dog to go into the pool unsupervised.
Swimming pools can and do kill people and animals, mainly due to carelessness of the owners and those that use them.
Be a responsible dog owner and always supervise your pet around the pool.
Although a small amount of pool water is unlikely to cause problems for a dog, you should try to prevent your dog from drinking it.
Pool water contains chlorine which is a dangerous chemical that kills bacteria and other organisms.
Always provide your dog with plenty of clean, fresh water for him to drink.