They say dogs are natural swimmers, but, is it okay to just put your dog in a pool and let him swim? Well, there’s no absolute answer to this question. The answers depend on the breed of your dog. Dogs come in various shapes, sizes, and bodily features which affects their ability to swim. Besides, it would be best if you were extra careful with a few other things before your pooch swims in your pool. Read on to know how to decide if you should let your dog swim in the pool and what other things to consider.
Look Up Your Dog’s Breed
The first and foremost thing you should do before you let your pup go into deep waters is to check whether your dog belongs to a swimmer breed or not. Most dog breeds are swimmers, but a few are not. A common observation in non-swimmer breeds is that they have shorter legs, flat-face, or shorter muzzles.
Some water dog breeds were bred to fulfil specific purposes that include swimming in the water and hunting. Their physical attributes like facial structure, body structure, and coat types are most suitable for swimming. On the other hand, some dog breeds like Dachshund, Boxers, Pug, Basset Hound, Bulldog, and Pekingese can’t swim. This is because of their either stubby legs or their anatomy and facial structure. Moreover, the dogs with a heavier coat also have to put a lot of effort to keep their bodies afloat and may not be good swimmers.
Not All Dogs Can Swim
Your dog loves to walk and play on the beach and also loves to play in shallow water. But that doesn’t always mean your dog wants to swim and can stay afloat in deep waters. Some dogs seem to manoeuvre paddling when left in the water, but this shouldn’t be mistaken for their ability to swim. So always check with your dog’s breed first.
The problem with flat-faced dogs and dogs with short muzzles is they have to try hard to keep their bodies upright to keep their nose above the waterline. In comparison, the dogs with shorter legs cannot generate enough power to move their bodies no matter what shape and other attributes are. Moreover, some dogs hate water and the repulsion to it will never let him become a swimmer doggie. If your dog hates water, you should not force him to like it. Nevertheless, all dogs should be given enough opportunities to enjoy the water. If not swimming, a doggie pool in the backyard for cooling themselves, playing, and splashing will do.
Some General Considerations
Here are some considerations for you once you’ve found out whether your dog can swim in your pool or not. Your dog will bring so much stuff into the water that’ll need to be taken care of. An average dog produces the load to the swimming pool equivalent to three humans. No matter how clean your dog is, some part of faecal matter is always present in their coat. Significantly, if your dog plays outside every day, the dirt, bugs, other pathogens, and their body oils will also contribute to contaminating the pool. That being said, in addition to human contamination, dogs in the water would require more sanitization in the pool, and more chlorine should be used.
With dogs in the pool, filters will need to be cleaned and changed more frequently. And this will be crucial in the summer months when swimmer load is at the peak. As a part of maintenance, you need to wash the grids after disassembling Diatomaceous Earth filters thoroughly. Recharge the skimmers with the right amount of DE and clean cartridge filters too.
The pool is a closed system, and if the water circulation in closed-circuit stops, the water will be more contaminated and also the pool equipment might fail. The reason behind little or no circulation is the blockage occurred in the skimmer baskets and pool pump pot. That being said, both need to be emptied and cleaned daily.
The cleanliness of the pool water depends on the use of chlorine. There is no better method to clean and sanitize the pool exist. Well, when dogs swim in the pool, you need to keep a close eye on the chemical balance of the water. You might’ve seen chlorine sometimes cause foul odours in the water and itchy red eyes after swimming. And you might want to blame chlorine for that. But then again, the combined effect of chlorine and chloramines produce that peculiar effect. And considering this, the chemical balance should be checked and maintained consistently.
Besides, chlorine’s effectiveness depends on other factors like pH, hardness, and temperature. For instance, if the pH of pool water is more than 8, the point of chlorine will only be 10 per cent. That said, if you’re not sure how to keep the pool chemically balanced, you can seek professional service. But ensure that you mention that dogs use the pool when you bring the water sample for testing.
Kids With Your Dogs
Those sharp nails on your dog’s paws can be dangerous for you and your kids. While being in the pool at the same time, your kid might get scratches on the rib cage or face from your pup’s untrimmed nails. Moreover, the open wounds invite several infections. Well, always keep your dog’s nails trimmed and instruct your kids to notify you as soon as something goes wrong inside the pool. And never leave your kids and dogs together in the pool alone and unattended.
The initial condition to let your pup swim in the pool is to know whether the breed falls into swimmer category or not. There are so many reliable resources available online for that. With the dogs in the pool, maintenance will be increased, and you will need to keep a close eye on maintaining the chemical balance of the pool for you and your dog’s safety. Apart from this, you will need to keep your pup healthy. Some dogs, if not correctly bathed with shampoo and dried, might develop infections because there are a lot of allergy-causing pathogens present in your dog’s thick coat. In all, it is okay to let your dog swim in the pool but take the above into account.