Issues with dogs swimming in pool?

gina171August 24, 2008

This might be opening up a huge debate, but I have a question regarding the wear and tear of having your dog swim in the pool? We have a lab/border collie mix who loves to swim (and herd in the pool, very funny) but are there any issues with dog hair in the pool, filter, pump, etc? I am not squeamish or worried about dog germs, just wondering what dog hait could do to the mechanisms of my pool? Should I backwash more often? Other tips?

Do many of you let your dogs swim? Our pool is PebbleTec with flagstone coping, so I think we're fine for wear and tear, it's a pretty rustic pool.

Thanks for advice!

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Our pool is about 3 months old...and is also pebbletec, flagstone coping. So far no problems. Our dog is Australian Shepard and something else. We have had her shaved twice this summer. Not really to keep the hair out, but more to make the drying off time improve. If we get in the pool she will stay in for over an hour if we stay in. She just swims around and will climb out to chase off the dragonflys and butterflys. Then will get right back in. She will USUALLY only get in in when we get in...which I like. We wondered how she would handle it, and we love that she doesn't get in unless we get in. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:47PM
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I find I'd much rather clean hair out of baskets than vacuum house every other day.

I'm even thinking about throwing my wife's cat in

(I installed invisible fence around the pool, inside the deck with the rest of the yard to control his time in)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Our almost 9 y/o golden retriever has always hated water. She refused to go in the pool until I bought one of those battery powered fish that swims around in the pool. She became OBSESSED with it. She would run around the coping trying to bite at it and one day her balance wasn't so great and she fell in. She immediately swam to the fish, grabbed it and swam to the steps. Now she goes outside and barks at the fish on the shelf when she wants someone to throw the fish so she can retrieve it. She does it for hours. The dog hair in the skimmers is gross, but acts as a net of sorts for the various bugs. Skimmer soks are great too. We do clean our cartridge filters more often, but the fun it adds is totally worth it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:55PM
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I have 2 black labs, They're fish dogs.
The only nuisance I have is using more chlorine and I probably backwash my DE filters a little more often.
I wouldn't trade the fun of swimming, fetching pool toys, and playing basketball with my dogs for anything in the world.
I wouldn't sweat about it.
Dog's, like kids, love pools too.

See ya,

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:08AM
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I'm one of the grumps who does not let my dogs swim in the pool. Our heeler would enjoy it, the shepherd has never tried to get in (she's pretty old with bad hips though).

I know the heeler gets in when I'm gone sometimes, but she is smart and follows my rules when we're around! For me it's a safety issue along with a maintanance issue, we have a lot of small children in our pool often and I've seen little kids get scratched up and dunked by dogs (my son did when he was little and was very frightened by it~a big dog swimming by and trying to hold onto him).

Bottom line, I don't let my dogs swim in the pool. Just don't want them, their hair, or their sharp claws in there when we're in there.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:50AM
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I have a Golden Retriever and a Chocolate Lab. Both swim daily. I try to get them into and out of the pool around an hour before it's due to shut off, so that all the hair will go into the skimmer basket, but other than that, it's no big deal.

I check the skimmer baskets a few times a day, and we do check the pump for wayward hair, and clean its filter basket out every two weeks or so. We're probably using more chlorine, but I wouldn't know the difference, since they've been swimming in it since day one.

I wouldn't dream of keeping my dogs out. It's part of the joy we get in having a pool in the first place. They're a hoot to watch, and it's good low-impact exercise for them.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 2:09PM
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quote" we have a lot of small children in our pool often and I've seen little kids get scratched up and dunked by dogs "quote

nanhsot is absolutely correct, excited dogs in a pool take no prisoners!!!

They'll scratch and potentially dunk any human they swim to, especially for toys and balls.
I should take some videos of my boys and I scrapping for rebounds after I shoot.
My roughhousing with them has equally spoiled it for them. They, unfortunately, have to "kennel up" when others are swimming.

See ya,

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:53PM
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I am with Nanhsot, I wouldn't like a dog in the pool, but then I am not a dog person. If I went to someone's house to swim and they let their dog in the pool, I probably wouldn't get in.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 1:54AM
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Anyone that would not like to swim in my pool, when the goldens are in it, are not welcome to swim in our pool. Simple.

The filter gets the hair on top and the main drain gets the hair on the bottom. No more bother than normal swimming, except for some additional hair in the skimmer and main drain.

The goldens love the pool and are the main reason we even use it anymore.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 11:26AM
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Gina- I asked the guy that did my start-up if dogs being in the pool were bad for the equipment and he said no. He said just to empty the skimmers a little more often but there was NO problem.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:49PM
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When our pool was finished the pool guy that handled the set up and "pool school" said one dog in the pool is equal to 50 people as far as chemical balance is concerned...just passing it on...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:05PM
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I also think it's kind of gross but when it's your pool and you paid for it, you get to do whatever you like!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:56PM
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I love my dogs but I believe pools, furniture, and especially beds are made for humans not animals... I'm always amazed by the people who can't see the difference. The dogs can swim in the pond but my pool will be for people only.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:47PM
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quote" When our pool was finished the pool guy that handled the set up and "pool school" said one dog in the pool is equal to 50 people as far as chemical balance is concerned...just passing it on... "quote

That, my Internet friends, is HOGWASH.

A dog would be equal to perhaps several people. Now with the hair aspect it's probably equal to a 100 humans.
I can assure you that your not going to use 50 times the chemicals.
My dogs probably swim a dozen or more times daily, my pool always sparkles on using just bleach as my sanitizer.

See ya,

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Kelly, so you use bleach? Like normal, household bleach? No tablets or chlorine sticks? I never heard of that, how much do you use per 1K gallons and how often? is that OK for all pool surfaces? thanks

p.s.--i love watching my dog swim and letting him play fetch in the water...going to keep doing it, even if it does run down my equipment sooner! no price on that joy.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 9:31PM
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I use a 10 percent bleach, it's basically double the strength as a normal unscented bleach like you'd get from a Walmart or any other store.
A normal gallon of bleach label will read 5 percent sodium hypochlorite by volume. This will deliver 5 ppm chlorine per 10000 gallons upon introduction into the pool. My pool is very large (over 100000 gallons) I usually add 2 to 3 gallons per day in the summer and 1 to 2 every other day in the off season.
I utilize Baking Soda, Borax, and Muriatic Acid to handle the Alkalinity and PH.
It's an old school process of pool water chemistry.
Not many people are really that familiar with it these days. It's brutally effective but unforgiving if you don't stay on top of your water every 48 to 72 hours.

See ya,

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 12:12AM
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I'm surprised none of you took into account the dog's wellbeing. Dogs are prone to many skin irritations, and could the chlorine and chemicals perhaps compound or make them worse? these could even be passed onto humans.
and in regards to the germs a dog may leave in a swimming pool, it's nothing compared to the myriad of microbes harbouring in a public, indoors pool despite regular cleaning.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 6:15AM
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Linitone added to the dog's food will help prevent dry skin irritations and promote a healthy and shiny coat. Its available at many department stores and pet stores.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 5:26PM
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i own a pool service business and i hate cleaning pools after dogs swimm in them.disgusting
dogs should not be able to swimm in pools.pools are for humans period

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 8:37AM
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My dogs are cleaner than some people I know! I feel sorry for people who don't know the joys of loving pets, dogs and cats. You just have to clean the baskets out more frequently.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 2:57PM
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LOL - this is an amusing read ;-)

50 times one person? - utterly ridiculous!!! We actually bought our house for our Goldens when we saw the pool. For the first 6 years before we had kids they were the biggest users of the pool - they even had play dates with neighborhood dogs ;-) We did immediately upgrade the filters.

We had very well behaved dogs and even though the pool had been "theirs" the only issue we had was our older golden worrying about the kids in the pool. He would pace the side and if the kids had too much fun for his comfort he would jump in and "gently" - with that soft retriever mouth - take them by the arm and drag them to the steps. No scratches, no trying to drown - quite the opposite. He actually did save my MIL who is not a strong swimmer and she fell in the pool and was disoriented and thrashing. She probably would have made it but he immediately jumped in and got her. All instinct.

Our new golden - sadly the two we bought the pool for are gone - is an abnormal golden and is not fond of swimming. Maybe we need to get her a swimming fish ;-)

Frankly I can't think of a more sanitary way to exercise ones dogs in the heat. I have Lyme Disease and I would far rather exercise the dogs in the pool than pick off ticks after a walk outside. There isn't anything equivalent to the misery I have gone through that I can get from swimming in a pool with my dog.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:39AM
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Dogs can easily be taught if they have some intelligence to swim clear of people thus not get scratched, mine learned that his first pool swim. Keep in mind most of us here pro dog swimming have gunite pools so no liner problems there.

My kids ride around the pool by my dogs tail until the command "out" is given, then he pulls them to the stairs and gets out. He will not reenter until given the command "jump"

BTW he is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:36AM
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I built my pool 28 years ago and in that period of time I've owned 3 Goldens and now an Irish Setter. The Goldens would occasionally go into the pool but it had to be by my urging but my Irish goes in when ever she feels like it which is almost daily during the summer. The Irish seems to have more difficulty handling the heat then my Goldens so usually just dives in for a few minutes to cool off and then out she comes. I use a cartridge filter so a quick hose off usually takes care of any hair problem.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Another vote in favor of swimming dogs, albeit from a new pool and new puppy owner.

I have had a lab before, but no pool at the time. Now that my pool is completed, I knew I wanted to share the experience (along with lots of other experiences) with a lab. I contacted a breeder back January and picked up my little black lab girl a day or two after her 8-week anniversary on Sunday. She dipped her toes in yesterday on the tanning ledge, but she'll be swimming with all of us this summer (once she's potty trained).

This was part of the deciding factor in getting a shotcrete pool, and Pebbletec, even moreso.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 5:42PM
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Like Nctal, getting a gunite pool with Pebbletec was the only way we wanted to go because we had potentially 2 dogs that would swim.

As for Domingos35's comment....well, I think that anyone who lets their dogs swim in a pool and then expects that a weekly cleaning from a service will take care of everything, might indeed produce a disgusting pool!

I use a skimmer made for above ground pools (but works great on any pool)every day to help skim any debris off the surface of the water, including dog hair, rather than completely depending on the pool's skimmers to do their job. Skimmer sox in the skimmer basket help to increase the intervals between cartridge filter cleanings - even WITH dogs swimming.

One of my dogs is in the pool daily, although he did draw the line when the water temp dipped to 42... So far, no skin conditions which I attribute to correctly balanced pool water, including salt.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 1:14AM
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i love animals i have a mini pinscher (that hates water) and 2 sugar gliders but i see it everyday people let their dogs swimm in the pool but don t do a thing to clean after .they don't skimm the pool,don't empty skimmer basket etc etc

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Hair. And like Husky said more chlorine use. Otherwise the fun is irreplaceable. My friend and co worker has a lab that loves to swim. She developed a skin problem when they moved to a house with a salt water chlorine generator. I think they are going to quit using it. Have to drain and refill though. I also don't know if that has affected other dogs. Or if she may just be sensitive to salt water. She's the only case I have heard of so far. If he finds something out, I will post it.
Otherwise, have fun.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 4:11PM
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well I had to laugh when I saw this thread because just the other day someone asked me "how do you keep your dog out of your pool" LOL we got the pool FOR our dog! my father in law lives next door and has an old concrete pool from the '60's and our border collie LOVED it. well we eventually filled in that pool and put one in our back yard, but fought over fiberglass vs vinyl (gunite not done here in WV) and hubby won out with vinyl. its absolutely no problem for our dog - he knows to swim to the steps or ladder to get out. (actually its more to the steps because he's getting older and more difficult to get up the ladder) Our kids our grown and its just hubby and I at home, so if anyone thinks its gross - they don't have to get in!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Only issues I could think of would have to do with #1 and #2.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 7:47PM
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I have never seen a dog do #1 or #2 in a pool. Ever! They seem to always get out and do that where they normally do it.

I think we've beating this dog long enough.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 9:42PM
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my dog is so cool. he can just chill out on the lilo in the pool. well actually its an inflatable pool lounge. you should check them out for your dog. maybe he'll relax a bit!

Here is a link that might be useful: inflatable pool lounge

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 9:20PM
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Similar to an earlier posting, my pool company said that the residual germs and microbes from one dog in the pool are equal to those left by about 40-50 humans. They also said that dog hair will damage the filter. We let a friend's dog into our salt pool once for about 15 minutes. It took five days to remove all the dog hair and oils and no one wanted to use the pool for those days. I will no longer allow a dog in the pool for basic hygiene concerns. Here are a few interesting links:
Many other RWIs (eye, skin, ear, and respiratory infections) are caused by germs that live naturally in the environment (water, soil). In the pool or hot tub, if disinfectant is not maintained at the appropriate levels, these germs can increase to the point where they can cause illness when swimmers breathe or have contact with water containing these germs.

Why doesn't chlorine kill these RWI germs?
Chlorine in swimming pools does kill the germs that may make people sick, but it takes time. Chlorine in properly disinfected pools kills most germs that can cause RWIs in less than an hour. Chlorine takes longer to kill some germs such as Crypto, which can survive for days in even a properly disinfected pool.

Here's info on crypto (Cryptosporidium):

It looks like giardia may also be transfered in pools: Giardia is a one-celled, microscopic parasite that lives in many different and often unexpected water sources, including ponds, lakes, streams, backyard swimming pools and even tap water. Giardia has even been found on contaminated animal haircoats. When ingested, it infects the intestinal tract of pets and humans, causing fever, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as other potentially serious and painful gastrointestinal problems.
Although any pet can contract the disease, dogs most at risk of becoming infected with Giardia include puppies, outdoor dogs, hunting dogs, farm dogs, city dogs, adopted strays, dogs that live in kennels and dogs in multi-pet households. Many researchers believe there is even the possibility of transfer of Giardia infection between pets and people.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 4:15PM
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