When it comes to pool water and dogs, if your pup drinks a bit during a swim or takes a sip while playing in the yard, he should be just fine. However, too much chlorinated water can cause problems for your dog, so be sure to keep an eye on him and make sure to maintain your pool with the proper amount of chemicals.
Pool water and dogs
If the chlorine levels in your pool are at the right level, your dog can drink a small amount without any negative effects. However, if chlorine levels are too high, such as after a chemical shock in your pool, or if your dog drinks a lot of pool water rather than drinking her own fresh water, the chlorine may cause irritation. Symptoms include vomiting and erosion of the esophagus.
Pool water that doesn't have enough chemicals can also cause problems for your pup. This is because the water is likely to grow algae and bacteria that can make your dog sick.
If your dog shows any symptoms of illness or irritation from chlorine, be sure to take him to the veterinarian right away. You will also need to take steps to keep your pup away from the pool moving forward.
Water intoxication in dogs
Another potential concern with pool water and dogs is the chance that your dog may drink too much and get water intoxication. This is not limited to pool water and can occur when your dog swims in lakes or drinks water from the sprinklers or hose. It occurs when he drinks too much water in a short period of time and throws off the electrolyte balance in his system.
Symptoms of water intoxication include bloating, vomiting, drooling, pale gums, glazed eyes, and dilated pupils. You may also notice behavioral changes, such as lethargy, restlessness, and stumbling or falling when walking.
This condition requires immediate veterinary attention, and serious cases can be fatal. Your vet will slowly reintroduce electrolytes into your dog's system until the balance is restored.
Prevention tips and considerations
Take steps to keep your dog from drinking too much water, especially if she has had problems in the past. One option that makes pool water safer for drinking is to use bromine as an alternative chemical to chlorine. Keep a bowl of clean, fresh water nearby so that she can drink that instead. This is especially important during hot weather when your pup can easily get overheated or dehydrated and resort to drinking from the pool.
In addition, avoid leaving your dog in the yard with the pool unattended. This way, you can monitor how much she is drinking. You can take her inside for a break or call her away from the water. You can do this by teaching commands such as "come" and "leave it." Redirecting her attention with a toy or a game of fetch can also be effective.
If these methods don't work or if you aren't able to monitor her whenever she is in the yard, consider installing a fence around the pool. This way, you can keep her away from pool water except when you let her inside the fence.