It’s summer and if you have a pool and dogs, that likely means lots of fun outside for you and/or your pup! This is certainly a welcomed luxury in the long, hot summers here in Tampa. Along with that, you may be asking yourself “My dog drinks from the pool, is it safe for them??”
If you have a saltwater pool, it is generally safer to drink than a regular pool. The salt content is much less than the ocean (which we all know cannot be consumed) and the number necessary of chemicals added to maintain proper chemistry are much less in a saltwater pool. However, that doesn’t mean your dog is free to drink the water all the time. It is NEVER OK for the pool to be the main source of water for your dog. A little won’t harm them, assuming they don’t have any underlying medical conditions that could be exacerbated by the pool water (heart, kidney, liver disease, low salt diets, etc). Regardless of health conditions, excessive drinking can cause a myriad of unhealthy conditions including vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, water toxicity, chemical inbalance (in your dog) and, of course, the need to pee…..a lot! Like many things in life, a little usually won’t harm you but excessive amounts can cause severe health issues.
If you don’t have a saltwater pool, the same guidelines pretty much apply. The chemistry of your water will typically have a greater variance in levels than saltwater pools (chlorine, pH, etc) so there can be a greater effect on your dog. As a result, additional caution should be taken. Of course, whenever you heavily treat your pool (shocking, algaecide, etc), the dogs should be kept away from it until the chemistry is back to normal.
These are general guidelines but as long as your pool’s chemistry is kept balanced, the water is generally safe. That said, don’t let it become a habit or excessive. Always have regular water available for them to drink. Of course, if there’s ever any concerns, contact your vet for expert advice.
Lastly, keep all chemicals in a safe and secure area where your dogs cannot access them. These pose the most significant danger to your pets in undiluted form.
P.S. For our boarding guests, we do have a saltwater pool for them to enjoy and we always discourage and limit the amount of water intake by our guests. We also have regular water available poolside for our boarding guests to enjoy.