Can your dog swim in your Pool?

dog in swimming pool
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Can my dog swim in my swimming pool?

Anyone with a dog child knows they are so much more than just a pet. 

They are part of the family. So why should’t they be allowed to join in all the family activities and use the Swimming Pool.

Most people are quite rightly more worried about how the Swimming Pool will affect their dog, than how the dog will affect their Swimming Pool. 

So first things first…


Is it safe for dogs to use swimming pools?

In short, yes! 

Pools are safe for dogs to use.

In the correct quantities, chlorine and bromine should not be harmful to dogs. But they have similar skin compositions to humans. So in the same way some humans can find chlorine an irritant so can some dogs.

To ensure your dog is safe in the pool you should take the following precautions:

1. Make sure the pool water is tested and balanced, taking care to ensure the pH and sanitiser are at the correct levels for safety and comfort.

2. Shower or hose your dog(s) off after swimming to remove any chlorine or bromine from their fur and skin and reduce irritation.

3. Dry their ears. Pool owners often find their dogs can be susceptible to ear infections, although this is more to do with ears not being dried properly that the pool itself. 

4. Supervise them while swimming in the pool. Although most dogs can “doggy paddle” they may get tired.

If they aren’t a great swimmer you can get a doggy life jacket (yes, it’s a thing). And you can even get one that looks like a shark fin.

5. Make sure there are stairs for easy exit. Jumping in is easy, but depending on the design they may struggle to get out.

6. Keep fresh water nearby to discourage drinking of the pool water. 

7. Make sure chemicals are stored safely and in their original container to avoid accidental ingestion. The smell alone should be enough to deter them from eating chemicals, but safe storage is crucial.


Will my pool be safe if my dog uses it?

The lesser asked question. Will my pool be okay if my dog uses it?

Yes. Although it’s worth bearing in mind that one dog carries around 3 x the amount of dirt, debris, oil and even faecal matter (eek) of a human. And this can increase with the size of the dog, and if the dog spends a lot of time outdoors. So it can introduce more contaminants into the pool and result in more maintenance.

To keep your pool clean, we recommend:

chlorine1. Shower the dog before it gets in the pool to get the worst of the dirt and contaminants off (ps. humans should shower too)

2. Test and dose the water more regularly. Your dog will introduce more contaminants. These may increase the pH. Even a slight raise in pH (8.5) can render the Chlorine only 10% effective. This will allow bacteria and water-borne diseases to multiply and put yourself and your dog at risk.

3. Clean the skimmers and backwash filters more often as dog hair can clog them. 

Related content:

Dogs do make it harder to keep your pool clean. But with regular maintenance and water care it is definitely possible to keep the pool safe and clean for everyone.

Concrete vs liner vs one-piece. Can dogs go in any pool?

Are all pools the same when it comes to dogs?


We’d usually suggest you keep dogs (and kids with toys) away from liner pools. Thickness of a liner can vary, but a liner is most likely to get damaged. 

A small tear in the liner can be fixed. But a larger rip may require a new liner. 

In addition, tiled pools already require more maintenance. The porous nature of the tiles makes the pool more susceptible to algae, they require regular brushing and more careful water management. Adding a dog to the mix may increase your work load further. 

If we were to recommend a pool for dogs, we would recommend a one-piece pool with built in access (and exit) stairs).

Related content:


Can dogs use hot tubs?

That’s pools covered. But what about hot tubs?

Human Hot Tubs, are at a temperature of around 38 degrees (Celsius). 

As dogs don’t sweat this temperature can cause dogs to overheat, leading to dehydration and eventually damage to vital organs. This makes Hot Tubs dangerous for dogs to use.

If you want to allow your dog to enjoy the Hot Tub then lower the temperature until it feels warm (not hot) for you. Hot Tubs can be used for canine therapy, but the temperature is usually set to approx 26 degrees (Celsius).


In summary

Dogs are part of the family and should be able to enjoy your pool with you. And they can. As long as you keep your pool clean and well maintained, with a few extra precautions they can use the pool safely with the rest of the family. 

Just be aware that you may need to factor in a little more time to keep the pool water balanced.

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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