Should You Let Your Dog in the Pool?
Matt Giovanisci says "Most forms of exercise, mental stimulation and enrichment you can provide for your dog can benefit them — just don't over do it. When it comes to dogs swimming in pools I say "Go for it!" Just remember to mind the health and safety of all family members, including your dog."
Teach Your Dog How to Swim in the Pool
Owners should introduce swimming very slowly to a dog. To get your dog into the pool, start slowly at the first step. This should allow them to have four feet wet but still feel like they can get out.
Don't restrain them, just gently cradle under the tummy and feed them a couple of tasty treats. Let the dog get curious and resist the temptation to pull them into deeper water. When the dog begins to access the first step on their own, try coaxing them to the second step. A larger dog can stand here, get the body wet and still have all fours on a hard surface.
Find a friend or neighbor with a strong swimming dog. Seeing a dog swimming easily may help build your dog's confidence. Swimming with your dog may also be comforting, but watch for clawing paws. Start slow and have patience, but keep in mind some dogs just don't like the water.
Pool Care Tips After Swimming With your Dog
Use a pool enzyme chemical. Due to the oils and build-up on their skin they will add organics and phosphates to the pool water. You can use chemicals like Pool Perfect and PHOSFree, Bioguards Natural Result or Poollife's Enzyme. I would double up on the dosage — so instead of once a week do it twice a week if the dog is swimming regularly. Any of these products are available at DesRochers Backyard Pools and Spas. Our trained staff can give you the correct recommendation. Water Testing is always free for our VIP customers.
Keep your chlorine at an acceptable range (1 – 3 ppm). And make sure your pH (7.4 – 7.6) and alkalinity (100 – 150 ppm) are balanced.
•Shock your pool after heavy use. If you're having a party and swimming with dogs, shock it that night.
•Constantly check the skimmer and pump baskets and remove any debris, including dog hair.
•If the pressure is high on your filter (about 5 – 10 psi above normal running conditions), backwash or clean the filter.
Basic Swimming And Pool Safety For Dogs
Swimming is great fun and exercise for your dog. Swimming can also be used to rehabilitate injuries, and is good exercise for older dogs with arthritis and hip dysplasia. I think all dogs should learn how to swim. Dogs need to learn so that you have an alternate way of exercising them, especially if you live in a hot climate, and in case your dog falls in water your dog won't drown.
Last year, I was discussing swimming lessons for a student's Doberman. A friend of hers came home to a tragedy one day: her pit bull was dead, floating at the bottom of the backyard pool. This kind of thing happens more frequently than you might think. Dogs need to learn basic swimming skills in order to be safe around water. Dogs know nothing about water safety, so it is our job to train and supervise them around water. It is also mandatory to construct a safe environment if we are to have a backyard pool. And if we live near a natural body of water, whether a lake, ocean or river, to ensure our dogs will take commands, and if we are not around, to for them to have some skills so they can get back to safety. None of this comes naturally. It is our job to make sure all this comes together.
Training Your Dog To Swim