There is nothing more fun than going out with your dogs and having cool water dipping in the summer, but is chlorine bad for dogs? Whether it is a commercial pool or a backyard pool, one of the prerequisites in making it sparkly clean, and healthy is using chlorine as a disinfectant.
As dog lovers, before you let your dogs enjoy themselves in the middle of a pool, it would be safe to know the answers to the question, is chlorine bad for dogs, first? This will elicit possible worries, and will ultimately give you a deeper understanding of the dos and don’ts when dealing with dogs and your pools.
In this article, we are going to answer this question, is chlorine bad for dogs, and on the other hand give you a meaningful article that will discuss things that you could do to protect your dogs while in a pool or the things that you should be doing after your dog has finished getting its dose of the summer water!
Part 1. Is it Safe for My Dog to Swim in a Chlorinated Pool?
If you have a dog, you might want to have it enjoy the summer with you in the pool water! But before considering it, there are things that you have to put into mind. Whilst it is safe for humans to swim in chlorinated pool waters even if there is accidental ingestion, it is not the same for canines. They have more sensitive ears and eyes compared to humans, and this sensitivity is the reason why it isn’t safe for dogs to swim in a chlorinated pool. So, can be there still a way to bring your dogs with you in a pool?
According to some experts, there can still be a way to have your dogs enjoy the pool! If you own a pool and you also have many dogs, you can choose to apply non-chlorine chemicals such as Bromine, this one is safer for pets compared to chlorine, to your swimming pools.
Also make sure that after a dip, you will immediately rinse your dogs to wash off the remaining chemicals that they may have obtained from the pool. You should also dab their ears using a soft towel to avoid possible infection and dampness. Also, dogs have a playful mind and may interpret the pool as a huge bowl of water that they can freely lick and ingest, you have to make sure that you prohibit them from licking and drinking the pool water to avoid possible health issues.
And to answer the question, is chlorine bad for dogs, it can be said that once dogs are properly taken care of before and after dipping in the pool water chlorine in pools can be safe. It is also important to keep in mind that dogs must not be forced to swim, and they must do it at their very own will. Once dogs are thrown in the water without them knowing, fear can develop and may lead to stress, and this is not good for dogs. Some dog owners throw toys in the water to slowly introduce pool water, or they swim together with their pets at the get-go. You can see this post to know how to teach dog to swim.
For first-time dog swimmers, it would also be helpful to teach them how to properly exit the pool so they won’t panic. You also have to surround your pools with a fence to prevent possible accidents. You have to make sure that you are always attentive once you have your dogs in the pool, once they are in the water they cannot bark, and you would not notice any warning of drowning in case, so you have to watch carefully!
Part 2. How to Protect Your Dog While Swimming in Water?
Now, that we have answered the question, is chlorine bad for dogs, it is now important to identify measures and steps to make sure that dogs are well protected while being dipped in the pool water. By knowing these things, possible accidents may be avoided, and it can be made sure that dogs will have a much more enjoyable time in the pool while swimming!
1. Always Make Sure that Your Pool is Well-Maintained and Clean!
Of course, there is nothing safer than a clean pool for both animals and humans! By monitoring the maintenance needs of your pool and by following needed procedures to be done, it can be ensured that water chemistry is being watched and recommended levels of chemicals are being maintained. Also, cleaning is essential, if the pool is unclean, it may harm the health of the human being and the animals present in the pool water.
2. Keep Your Chemicals in the Right Storage and Always Secure Them.
Well, this also includes pool cleaners, such chemicals must be out of reach of pets! Low chlorine levels can indeed be safe for dogs, on the other hand, you might get a pet emergency once you see them stashing all over your pool chemicals and cleaners once not kept well.
3. After every dip, rinse off your dogs.
It should be a practice that every after a swimming session you rinse off your dogs. This is to avoid irritation of the skin, and also rinse off chlorine off their skin, thus limiting chlorine exposure. Always use a soft towel when drying them, and make sure to check and dry the ears to avoid any infection.
4. It Must be a Habit to Check your Dogs.
As much as we want to bond with them in the water, as much as we want to protect them as well. Even if your dogs will be fine after swimming in the pool, there can be signs of allergies and irritations, so always check them. Also, while dipped in the pool and you see symptoms such as red eyes or coughing, immediately remove them from the pool! At most times, you would probably see your dogs happy and having a great time! In case you notice a few allergies but you can’t help to let them swim since they are enjoying, there are options that you can do such as getting them a kiddie pool
These are only some of the protective measures that you can execute to make sure that your dogs while having a great time in your pools! You might also want to provide a life vest for your dogs if you notice that the dog is still having a hard time in the water. Also, make sure to check your dog's heat exhaustion or stroke especially if they are already senior dogs or still just puppies. You also have to check if there is a safe way in and out for your dogs, as they can be confused sometimes.
Part 3. How do You Clean a Pool after a Dog Swim?
Whilst, it is fun to have your dogs swarm into your pool, it could also be tiresome. Also, there are things that you should do once they are done swimming! Aside from making sure your dogs are safe, you also have to do the same thing with your pools! It is a nice thing that we have figured out answers to, is chlorine bad for dogs, now we can have lots of great soaking hours with our fur babies any time we want! Now, let us make sure that our pools are protected as well, after letting our best friends swarm onto it.
So, what are the considerations that a pool owner must keep in mind before letting a dog swim?
- Do not let your dogs swim in parts of the pool where plastic liner or vinyl is present. The claws of dogs may bring damage to it, and it would entail a huge cost to repair it.
- Once your dog's swim is introduced to the water, there are lot of debris that can be left out in the pool, like, dander, bacteria, dirt, dog hair, and traces of fecal materials on your dog’s coat and feet. These samples of organic matter may clog down the skimmer and pool filters resulting in slow operations of both. It can also have effects on the pH of the pool water, which in turn will have you add more chemicals for your pool water to utilize.
By knowing such possible consequences, it is needed to always make sure that your pool is also protected, let us check some of the procedures that you can try to do.
- Brush your dog before you allow it to swarm into the pool water, this must be made a habit.
- If you have set the pressure of the filter high, you have to make sure that you also backwash it.
- Make a shocking part of your maintenance procedures especially if there are more than two dogs in the pool, or it is frequently used by humans.
- Check the skimmers and pool baskets continually to remove all the excess dog hairs as well as other organic debris that are accumulated.
- Make sure that chlorine level is in the range between 1 and 3 ppm. You also have to keep the alkalinity and pH well-balanced.
- Before bringing your pet to the pool, make sure it knows how to swim. It would be better to give it a dog life-preserver in case it needs assistance or has a hard time swimming in the pool.
- You must double the amount of pool enzyme chemicals. Once dogs are done swimming, a dog's skin may leave phosphates and other organics in your pool water. Due to this, it would be needed for you to treat your pool twice a week. It is also applicable if you have a regular swimming session with your dogs!
And there you are! By following these procedures, a pool owner can be sure that his pool is clean, while also making sure that a dog’s wish is fulfilled and obtained! It is really fun to swim in the pool with your fur babies, just always remember to follow all the important points that we have discussed in this article!
Part 4. FAQs
1. How Much Chlorine is Toxic to Dogs?
Based on the CDC, humans and dogs can ingest chlorine in concentrations up to 4 milligrams per liter. Based on the recommended level of chlorine in pools, we only have a range between 1 and 3 milligrams per liter, so it could be fine for dogs to ingest a little part of the pool’s water. So, if the level of chlorine is higher than 4 milligrams per liter, it can be dangerous. It would be nice to always take precautionary measures, and once the dog has ingested toxic water, it must be rinsed off and must be given lots of fresh water. You may also need to call the veterinarian in case of any emergency.
2. What are the Symptoms of Chlorine Gas Poisoning in Dogs?
It is also important that dog owners can be able to detect symptoms if there is chlorine gas poisoning. This will help to formulate procedures to do in case it happens. Once there is acute inhalation of chlorine, it may result in gagging, coughing, retching, or sneezing. You can also observe irritation in the skin and eyes. There can also be possibilities of rapid breathing, blue coloring of the skin, pain in the chest, and the worse could result in fluid in the lungs.