Pets in the Pool
Summer is here and so are the 100° F days.
Like many people, you consider your dog as part of the family. So naturally, Fido is joining you in the pool to cool off from these hot summer days.
But is it okay to allow your dog to swim in the pool?
Yes, it is safe for dogs to have a dip in a chlorinated or saltwater swimming pool provided the pool water is correctly balanced. There is a caveat to man’s best friend joining you on your next swim session.
An average size dog is equal to three humans in terms of the contaminants they will bring along with them into a pool. More than one man’s best friend? Multiple that by three and it’s a full-on pool party.
Your dog naturally introduces fecal matter to the pool along with oils, dirt, and anything else they roll around in—especially if they mostly stay outside. Fecal matter, of any sort, will contaminate the pool’s water, potentially aiding in the transmission of Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI’s). These RWIs include E. coli, Giardia, Hepatitis A, and Cryptosporidium. The contaminated recreational water can cause a variety of ailments and diseases, such as diarrhea, skin, ear, and upper respiratory infections. Large outbreaks of disease are rare and they don’t typically happen in residential settings, but homeowners should be aware of just how contagious pathogens are when they are waterborne.
Pool chemical levels should be routinely checked and balanced weekly.
Keeping pool chemicals balanced is a challenge for pools that pets swim in. Those ‘external additives’ from Fido will raise the pH more quickly along with adding phosphates and nitrates. This means there will be a rapid consumption of free available chlorine. This is one reason why more chlorine is needed than normal. It’s always a good idea to shock your pool regularly to properly sanitize the water.
Routine maintenance on the pool and equipment is at least a weekly job. However, adding a dog or two to the pool will increase the maintenance required to properly protect your pool and equipment.
Dog hair will inevitably shed in the water. Over time, all this hair will end up in the skimmer basket, pump basket, and filter.
Filters need to also be cleaned more frequently, whether it’s a DE, sand or cartridge filter. Be sure to check the filter’s PSI after each pool use. If its 5-10 PSI over start, its recommended to clean or backwash. Empty baskets on a daily basis if your dog is frequently using the pool each week.
When the filter and baskets are neglected, it will cause little or to no circulation in the pool ultimately leading to pool equipment to fail. These failures could become costly repairs or replacements.
Although your pool water and equipment will require more work and attention, your fur buddy can safely join you in the pool if the water is properly balanced and maintained.
If you need help with your swimming pool chemicals or you have issues with your pool equipment, call the professionals at Blue Diamond Pool Services at 407-435-8553 or contact us here. We are happy to help keep your oasis in pristine condition and healthy for all.