Lakewood Ranch Pools Are for Pets, Too

In the height of summer, all of us appreciate our Sarasota-Manatee pools. Chances are, your pups are pretty excited about them, too.

But is having your dog in the water affecting your pool? And, more importantly, is your pool safe for your pup?

Why Some Dogs Love Pools—Especially in Summer

Every dog owner knows that each dog has its own unique personality. Some are big-time swimmers, and some not so much. If your doggo loves the pool, it can be hard to deter them, especially when you’re already in the water and they want to join you.

At least they have good reasons. Of course, you know how tempting pools can be. Your dog loves them for the same reasons, and then some:

    • Unlike humans, many dog breeds are built for swimming, including webbed feet, evenly distributed bodyweight, and tail-rudders.
    • They want to be with you! When your dog sees you having fun, they want to be part of it.
    • Dogs don’t sweat. Pools are cool when they jump in, and the evaporating water is extra cooling when they get out.

Can Your Dog Harm Your Pool?

Short answer: Not really. Just like humans, dogs can add a lot of organic matter, which affects your pool’s chemistry. Dogs might not sweat, but they do shed a lot. That fur can also clog up your filtration. Something to be aware of.

Also, your dog’s nails can scratch or damage delicate surfaces and even break your screen if they get too rowdy.

Is Your Pool Safe for Your Dog?

Your dog’s safety is the biggest concern. There are several questions you should ask and things you should take care of before you introduce your dog to the pool.

    • Are there sufficient pool exits for your dog’s size? Stairs for humans don’t necessarily work for dogs. If you have a wee pupper who likes swimming, invest in a specially made pet step or pool escape. (There are many products on the market.)
    • Train your dogs to know where the pool escapes are. It won’t necessarily be obvious for them, and they should be able to orient themselves in case they accidentally fall in. (This is true even for animals that don’t care for the pool, but please see our safety note below.)*
    • How rough is your pool’s surface and surrounding deck? Non-slip concrete surfaces can quickly rub raw spots on the paws of rambunctious animals. Hot pool decks can scald, too. Make them take breaks.
    • Are they tired yet? The excitement of a pool session could lead to overexertion. They won’t know when to stop. Even if your dog still seems happy, enforce rest periods and time out of the sun.
    • What about the chemicals? Pool chemicals are relatively safe for animals. However, you should practice safe post-swim care:
      • Rinse them off with a hose to avoid skin irritation, and be sure to dry the insides of their ears to deter ear infections.
      • Keep chemical containers away from anywhere the dogs might accidentally encounter them. Touching the chemicals isn’t automatically bad, but it could lead to licking those areas, which is dangerous.
    • If they drink the pool water? They’re probably fine. The most likely issue they’ll experience from ingesting too much pool water will be vomiting. But give them a bowl of fresh water nearby and they will (still) love you forever.
    • Never, ever let old or disabled animals have any access to a pool whatsoever unless they will be monitored the entire time. Take the same precautions you would for a toddler in the household.

*NOTE: Pay attention to your dog’s preferences. If they’re not interested in a swim, do not force it, even if it’s hot out. Forcing a dog into the water can be extremely stressful and can lead to injuries or drowning.

Most of all, talk to your Bahama Blue pool tech about your pets and your pool. Trust us: When it comes to Lakewood Ranch pools, we’ve seen it all.

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