Should Your Dog Swim in Your Pool?

Posted by Blue Haven Pools on 05/22/2020

two dogs on a swimming pool floatie

Thinking of letting your pup join you for a dip in the pool? It’s pretty enticing for all the obvious reasons, but you may want to think again.

When people ask if their dog can partake in the joys of their swimming pool, the question is mainly in regard to whether it’s okay for the dog itself. But what about the pool? In most cases, the answer is no … with a few exceptions.

Below, we’ll cover the main potential problems with allowing your furry pals to go for a swim with you, and what you need to be prepared to do if you let them splash around with you.

dog swimming in pool

Pool Water pH Issues

The main drawback to letting your dog in the pool is what your dog does to the pH of the water — and the equipment.

Consider this: One dog in the pool is equivalent to 10 adults. It’s like throwing a pool party every time your pup gets in! Dogs bring unwanted contamination to the water, which usually results in the rise of ammonia levels in the pool and increased chlorine demand, leaving your pool left with nothing to kill bacteria, algae, or organisms.

Simply put, the majority of your pool’s chemical resources will go to counteracting what your dog brings into the water. So, if you do allow your pup to swim, be prepared to use more shock after it takes a dip.

There’s also the equipment aspect. Dog hair can often go through the skimmer baskets and wind up clogging the impeller of your pump, leading to a wide range of potentially expensive issues. If your dog takes a dip, and happens to be a breed with lots of hair or shedding, be prepared to give your skimmer baskets and equipment some extra attention.

dog in sunglasses at the beach


Not all dogs are good swimmers! While most dogs may know how to “doggie paddle” instinctively, they can actually drown just as easily as children, especially if the dog can’t find a way out of the pool and starts to get tired. If your dog is not a breed that does well in the water, you’ll have to give it plenty of extra caution and attention to ensure it’s safe.

If you do let your dog swim in the pool, be sure it has a doggie life jacket if you can’t be within arms reach while supervising it.

So what about the pool chemicals? Fortunately, chlorine in the water has basically the same effect on dogs that it has on humans. They may get itchy or red eyes from too much exposure, but that’s about it. If your dog does end up in the pool, it’s always recommended to hose them off with regular water afterward to prevent irritation. You should keep a bowl of water nearby for them to drink as well so they’re not tempted to drink pool water.

One quick note for off-season pool safety for your dog: Always make sure your winter covers are on tight in case your dog decides to walk across it! You definitely do not want your dog falling into the pool and getting trapped under the cover.

dog swimming in pool with ball in mouth

Some Final Thoughts

In some cases, there are some potential benefits to letting your dog in the pool. For instance, swimming offers a zero-impact exercise that is ideal for dogs that are rehabbing after an injury or surgery, or suffer from age-related hip and leg issues. Paddling a few laps around the pool can be a great way for them to get some exercise while interacting with you and your family.

Other dogs may simply have a hard time resisting getting in the pool, no matter how hard you try to discourage it.

In either case, always follow proper safety measures with them in case anything goes wrong. The same goes with your pool’s water. If you allow your dog to swim, you need to be prepared to not only remain extra vigilant about checking pH and clearing up the water, you should also be willing to shell out some money for extra chlorine shock on a regular basis.

If you’re in need of cleaning and maintenance products to help with your pool water — dogs allowed or not — our team can always provide you with proven products to ensure your pool is always sparkling clean and in peak condition.

In addition to essential pool cleaning supplies, we also offer general pool services and repair, so send us a message, give us a call at 405-844-7500, or drop by and see us at our Blue Haven location in Edmond!