It’s getting hot in Florida. Your dog gets even hotter. One of the ways to cool off is to let your dog spend time in the water. But not all dog owners are comfortable with that, as they tend to debate whether or not to allow their dogs to swim in their pool. The following are some of the pros and cons of allowing your dog to swim in your pool.
Pros of Canine Pool Swimming
- Exercise - Swimming will provide your dog with an effective, low-impact full body workout. It is especially beneficial for dogs with joint problems. If your dog struggles to run for long periods of time and you don’t always have time to go on long walks, swimming is a great alternative to get your dog’s cardio in. According to veterinary surgeon Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, just 1 minute of swimming is the equivalent of 4 minutes of jogging. Exercise in general keeps your dog healthy and at low risk for other injuries or illnesses.
- Summer Heat - It isn’t always ideal to walk your dog in the heat - and it may even be pretty harsh on their paws, as dogs don’t have shoes and the ground can heat up to sweltering temperatures. Swimming allows your dog to get adequate exercise while remaining cool and comfortable. Busy dog owners also get a break from having to take time out of their day and go for a walk with their dog, and the pool itself cools down your pet so they can spend more time outside.
- Fun Activity - Just like humans, the dog breeds that are able to swim love it. It is an enjoyable form of playtime and really hits the spot during the summer heat.
Cons of Canine Pool Swimming
- Ear Infections - Our adorable canine friends tend to have very sensitive ear canals which makes it incredibly important to be weary of their swimming. Even if you keep your pool to a high standard of cleanliness, it is still home to bacteria that can cause infection to their ears. However, if you thoroughly wipe and clean your dog’s ears after a swim, you greatly reduce the risk of infection.
- Dog Hair and Nails - Many dog owners are concerned of getting their dog’s hair stuck in the filters or stressing their pool filter’s out with the thick and coarse fur. Skimmer socks are a good preventative measure to decrease the likelihood of your dog’s hair reaching your pool’s filter system. Many dog owners are also concerned with damage being done to their vinyl layer of the pool, but encouraging your dog to use the pool stairs will help prevent this.
- Drinking Water - Many dog owners have reported their dogs drinking a bunch of pool water and then subsequently throwing up the pool water after. This is likely due to the pool chemicals, but training can be done to discourage your dog from drinking pool water. As long as your dog isn’t indulging themselves on pool water, a little gulp here and there won’t hurt them.
Should You Let Your Dog Use Your Pool?
Keep in mind that not all dogs can swim, and some dogs may have an aversion to water. You shouldn’t force your dog into your pool. You also need to be well aware of some of the risks, especially since many are preventable with proper care.
But your pool is a great place for your dog to exercise and cool down, and as long as you watch them and make sure they’re swimming safely, enjoying themselves, cared for after, and monitoring them for things like ear infections, your dogs should have a wonderful time.