Should Dogs Swim In The Pool?

If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool, you no doubt thoroughly enjoy it all summer long. Your dog may also want to dive in with you, particularly water dogs like labrador retrievers. You may wonder if you should allow your pet into the pool, particularly chlorinated ones. In general, your pet can safely swim if you take certain precautions.


The chlorine in the swimming pool can be more irritating to your pet's eyes, ears, and nose than it is to yours. You need to monitor your pet to make certain that his or her skin is not being adversely affected. Experts recommend that you use a hose to rinse off your pet after they are done with his or her dip. If the pool water does affect your dog, you can switch to a non-chlorine chemical to balance your pool. If your dog's skin does become irritated, you will need to make a veterinarian's visit for treatment.


Some dogs love the water and are naturally strong swimmers. Other dogs are not great in the water. In addition to labradors, breeds such as Newfoundlands, Irish and English setters, and the standard poodle are all usually fine in the water. Other dogs are just not built for swimming, including bulldogs, boxers, and dachshunds. Many dogs that are simply short in stature don't do particularly well in the water. Remember that there are always exceptions to these rules. You may have a black lab who hates to swim and a tiny bulldog puppy who can do laps. You need to test your pet's swimming ability before standing back and letting them go.

Dog Hair

Even if you enjoy letting your dog swim with the family, you may not appreciate the dog hair that they leave in the pool. You will pay a price in pool maintenance when you let the puppies paddle around, including replacing your pool filter more often. One possible solution is to put knee-high pantyhose over the skimmer in your pool to catch the dog hair and then clean it out regularly.

If you are careful, your dog can safely swim with you in the pool. Never urge a reluctant dog to swim, however. Your pooch may be afraid of the water or simply not able to safely swim. Even if your dog initially paddles, they still may not be able to maintain it for long. Monitor your dog's skin for chlorine irritation as well. Then, if you don't mind the dog hair, let your dog have some summer swimming pool fun. For more information, contact a business like Community Animal Hospital.