Does Chlorine Harm Dogs?

dog swimming after dog toy in pool

Summer has here, and it's time to go in the pool! When it's hot outdoors, people aren't the only ones who love relaxing in a good pool. Many dogs like cooling down, playing, and swimming in pools. What about pool chemicals, though? Is chlorine poisonous to dogs? Are swimming pools OK for dogs?

Is Chlorine Bad For Dogs?

Because the chlorine levels in a well kept swimming pool are quite low, dogs drinking modest amounts of pool water are unlikely to be harmed. Chlorine is still present in saltwater pools, albeit at lower levels than in regular chlorine pools. When ingested in excess, however, both chlorine and salt may harm pets.

What Happens If a Dog Drinks Too Much Pool Water?

Excessive consumption of chlorinated pool water can irritate the gastrointestinal system, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and esophageal erosion. If the chlorine balance is off, the hazards are greatly increased. This includes pools with excessive or insufficient chlorine.

Occasionally, you may need to do a chemical shock to the pool. Make sure your dog is kept away until the chemical balance is safe again.

Believe again if you think decreasing chemicals is a good option! Bacteria, algae, fungus, and can all be found in pool water that hasn't been adequately cleaned. These can harm you and your dog if you swallow them, inhale them, or come into touch with their skin and mucous membranes.

In general, a dog is unlikely to be harmed by drinking pool water on occasion. Humans, in fact, mistakenly consume small amounts of pool water when swimming and seldom have problems. However, your dog should not drink from the pool as a major source of water. When your dog is out by the pool, have plenty of fresh, cold water around.


Water intoxication is uncommon, but it can happen if you drink too much water (from any source). If you feel your dog has consumed a large amount of water, get guidance from your veterinarian. Get to the nearest open veterinary hospital if your dog shows any indications of sickness.

Is it Safe for Dogs to Swim in Pools?

Allowing your dog to swim in the pool is typically safe if your dog understands how to swim. Make sure you keep an eye on your dog at all times. Even the most skilled swimmers, including dogs, may drown.

It's vital to remember that not all dogs can swim naturally. If you're not sure about your dog's swimming abilities, keep a life vest on him.

Never push a dog into the pool or toss him in. Allow the dog to investigate on his own to see whether he feels at ease. You could want to gently guide him to the stairwell so he can figure out how to go inside. Use a toy to entice him down the stairs, or just throw the item in the water. He will enter if he is at ease. Otherwise, let it go.

While short to moderate swimming sessions are typically safe, excessive contact to pool chemicals can cause eye, skin, and coat irritation. If the pool is chemically unbalanced or the dog stays in the pool for an extended amount of time, this is more likely to be an issue. After your dog comes out of the pool, spray him down with fresh water to clean away any residue.

Some dogs like swimming but get anxious while attempting to exit. Steps can be difficult to find, and pool ladders can be dangerous for dogs. Bring your dog to the pool stairs or a sunbathing ledge if one is available. To make it easier for your dog to exit the pool, consider constructing an unique pool ramp.

Are Saltwater Pools Better for Dogs?

Drinking too much from a saltwater pool can have the same problems as drinking from a chlorine pool. Furthermore, too much salt can cause or electrolyte imbalances, both of which can be life-threatening. Fortunately, pool water has far less salt than ocean water, thus a vast amount of pool water would be required to be deadly.

Saltwater pools may be kinder to dogs' skin and mucous membranes, particularly those with sensitive skin. After swimming in a saltwater pool, though, it's still a good idea to rinse off the dog.

Other Dog Safety Considerations Around Pools

It's probably hot outdoors if you're swimming in a pool. If your dog is loitering about outside the pool, he may become overheated. Make sure your dog is not suffering from heat stroke. Provide lots of fresh, cold water as well as shade. If you notice indications of tiredness in your dog, bring him into an air-conditioned environment.

Keep in mind that the sun's heat can cause the ground surrounding the pool to become extremely hot, potentially scorching a dog's paw pads. This may happen on a variety of surfaces, including pavement, concrete, tile, stone, and more. With the back of your hand, test the surface. It's too hot for your dog's feet if it's too hot for you.

Running about a pool might wear down your dog's nails. While this is useful for decreasing the need for nail trims, too much friction can create excessive wear on the nails, resulting in discomfort and bleeding.

Keep an eye out for those claws if you and your dog are swimming together. The claws on a dog's foot become more noticeable when they are swimming. A swimming dog can cause significant injury to humans. Be cautious, especially if there are youngsters or the elderly in the vicinity of the pool dog.

How to Keep Your Dogs Safe From Pool Dangers

There are a number of things you can do to keep dogs—and humans—safe in your pool. Maintain the cleanliness of your pool and its equipment. Keep an eye on the water's chemical balance on a regular basis. If you're going to use a pool cover, be sure it's a safety cover rather than a floating cover. If animals (or children) become caught under a pool cover, they can quickly drown.

How Dogs Affect Your Pool

If you intend to allow your dog to swim in your pool, you must consider more than the dog's safety. Swimming with a dog in your pool might potentially be harmful to your pool.

If your pool has a vinyl or plastic liner, then you should not let dogs enter. Their claws can quickly cause major damage that is expensive to repair.

When your dog enters the pool, the hair, dander, dirt, debris, germs, and even traces of feces on his coat and feet will all fall into the pool. The pool skimmer and filter may become clogged or sluggish as a result of this. It also changes the pH of the water, reducing the effectiveness of pesticides.

According to many pool care pros, one dog in the pool has the same effect as three people. Brushing the dog and hosing him down with water before he enters the pool will help to mitigate this. However, additional care will be required to maintain the pool clean and safe.