Summer is here in Oklahoma City and that means time to enjoy the pool with your furry friend to cool off from Oklahoma’s blistering heat. But before you take a dip, there are a couple things you should keep in mind to ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone.
Prepare Your Pool for Your Pet
Your dog loves to swim, and you love to watch them enjoy themselves. But before you let your furry friend take a dip in the pool, there are a few things you need to do to make sure the experience is safe and enjoyable for both of you.
Here’s how to prepare your pool for your dog:
Make sure the water is clean. This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to ensure that the water in your pool is clean and free of any harmful bacteria or algae. You should test the water regularly and shock it as needed.
Keep the pH balanced. The pH level of the water in your pool should be between 7.2 and 7.6. This ensures that the water is neither too acidic nor too alkaline, which can be harmful to your dog (and you!). Test the pH level regularly and adjust as needed.
Keep the chlorine levels low. Chlorine is essential for keeping pools clean, but it can also be irritating to your dog’s skin and eyes. To avoid this, make sure you keep the chlorine levels in your pool low. You can do this by using a chlorine-free shock or investing in an ozone system that allows you to keep chlorine levels low.
Get a doggy life jacket. If your dog isn’t a strong swimmer, consider investing in a doggy life jacket. This will help them stay afloat and avoid getting tired while swimming.
Clear any sharp objects. Make sure that the pool doesn't have any sharp edges or objects that could hurt your dog.
Remove debris. Get a pool brush or skimmer to clean up any debris that may have gotten into the water.
Not All Dogs Can Swim
If you do decide to let your dog swim in a pool, there are a few things you can do to help keep them safe. Make sure they have a way to get out of the pool if they start to struggle. A ramp or ladder that leads out of the water is ideal.
Some dogs love swimming and are great swimmers, while others may not be as comfortable in the water. If you're not sure whether your dog would enjoy swimming, you can always try taking them for a dip in a kiddie pool or shallow end of a pool first to see how they react.
Always keep an eye on your dog while they're swimming. If you see them starting to struggle, immediately lift them out of the water and towel them off. It's also a good idea to keep a close eye on their breathing and heart rate, as well as any changes in their behavior.
When in Doubt, Talk to Your Vet
If you're still not sure if pool water is safe for your dog, talk to your veterinarian. They can give you more specific advice based on your dog's individual health and swimming ability.
Dog and Pool Care After Swimming
Dog hair and other debris can dirty up your pool quickly. You need to clean your pool more often if your dog swims in it even if it doesn’t seem like they made too much of a mess.
Here are a few tips for keeping your pool clean when your furry friend is using it:
Remember that having one dog in the pool is like having ten people. Dogs can introduce fecal matter and bacteria into the pool, so shock the pool after your dog swims.
Brush the sides and bottom of the pool regularly with a soft-bristled brush to remove any dog hair or other debris.
Vacuum the pool regularly to pick up any small pieces of debris that may have been missed by the brush.
Empty the skimmer baskets often to keep them from getting clogged with dog hair and other debris.
Check the chlorine and pH levels after each use.
Hydrate Your Pet
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for dogs. It helps them stay fit and healthy and can even be therapeutic for those with joint problems. So go ahead and let your dog enjoy a dip in the pool! Just be sure to provide them with plenty of fresh water to drink afterwards.
Cover the Pool in the Winter
Don’t forget to take precautions for your dog during the colder months. Just as you would close and cover your pool for winter, you'll need to do the same for any outdoor water feature that your dog has access to. This will help prevent them from getting sick or injured from the cold weather.
By following these simple tips, you can enjoy a safe and fun pool season with your furry friend by your side.